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Historical Documents 


W//A Introductions and Notes 
Volume 43 

P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 

Hc, 1S>3B 
P. F". COX.I-JER &: So is: 

I*. I 5 . COLLIER &: So is? 






His DISCOVERY (1493) 21 









WINTHROP (1644) 85 











THE FEDERALIST, Nos. i AND 2 (1787) 199 


vs. THE STATE OF MARYLAND (1819) 208 





























(1898) 442 


PANAMA (1904) 450 


No final history of the United States of America has been written, 
or is likely to be written. Research is constantly bringing to light new 
facts that correct details or modify the traditional view of larger ques- 
tions; and the most impartial historian is subject to personal or sec- 
tional bias which leads to his works being regarded as imperfect by 
another generation, or as unfair by the people of parts of the country 
other than his own. In such a series as the present, then, it is unwise to 
represent the story of the growth of this nation by the summary of any 
one scholar. 

The alternative has been to place before the reader a selection of the 
most important documents which record in contemporary terms the 
great events in the history of the country. Beginning with the personal 
records of the earliest discoverers of the continent, the selection goes on 
to present the first attempts at organizing a machinery of government 
made by the first settlers of the New England colonies; proceeds to the 
landmarks of the struggle for independence and the formation of the 
Constitution; shows the laying of the foundation of national policies and 
of the interpretation of the Constitution; indicates by the texts of the 
treaties themselves the acquisition of each successive increase of terri- 
tory; and reveals by the original state papers the main causes and effects 
of the wars in which the country has from time to time been engaged. 
Read in succession, these documents afford a condensed view of the 
political progress of the American people; freed from any prejudice save 
that which swayed the makers of the history themselves. 



(r. 1000) 

[The following account of the discovery of North America by Leif Ericsson is con- 
tained in the "Saga of Eric the "Red"; and the present translation is that made by 
A. M. Reeves from the version of the Sa#a in the Flateyar-bok* compiled by Jon 
Thordharson about 1387. The part of the coast where Lcif landed is much in dis- 
pute, the most recent investigations tending to the southern part of the coast of 
Labrador, though many scholars believe Vinland to have been on the New England 


l^FTER that sixteen winters had lapsed, from the time when 
/ % Eric the Red went to colonize Greenland, Leif, Eric's son, 
JL Jm. sailed out from Greenland to Norway. He arrived in Dron- 
theim in the autumn, when King Olaf Tryggvason was come down 
from the North, out of Halagoland. Leif put into Nidaros with his 
ship, and set out at once to visit the king. King Olaf expounded the 
faith to him, as he did to other heathen men who came to visit him. 
It proved easy for the king to persuade Leif, and he was accordingly 
baptized, together with all of his shipmates. Leif remained through- 
out the winter with the king, by whom he was well entertained. 


HERIULF was a son of Bard Heriulfsson. He was a kinsman of 
Ingolf, the first colonist. Ingolf allotted land to Heriulf between Va*g 
and Reykianess, and he dwelt at first at Drepstokk. Heriulf's wife's 
name was Thorgerd, and their son, whose name was Biarni, was a 
most promising man. He formed an inclination for voyaging while 
he was still young, and he prospered both in property and public 
esteem. It was his custom to pass his winters alternately abroad and 
with his father. Biarni soon became the owner of a trading-ship; 


and during the last winter that he spent in Norway [his father] 
Heriulf determined to accompany Eric on his voyage to Greenland, 
and made his preparations to give up his farm. Upon the ship with 
Heriulf was a Christian man from the Hebrides, he it was who com- 
posed the Sea-Roller's Song, which contains this stave: 

"Mine adventure to the Meek One, 

Monk-heart-searcher, I commit now; 
He, who heaven's halls doth govern, 
Hold the hawk's-seat ever o'er me!" 

Heriulf settled at Heriulf sness, and was a most distinguished man. 
Eric the Red dwelt at Brattahlid, where he was held in the highest 
esteem, and all men paid him homage. These were Eric's children: 
Leif, Thorvald, and Thorstein, and a daughter whose name was 
Freydis; she was wedded to a man named Thorvard, and they dwelt 
at Gardar, where the episcopal seat now is. She was a very haughty 
woman, while Thorvard was a man of little force of character, and 
Freydis had been wedded to him chiefly because of his wealth. At 
that time the people of Greenland were heathen. 

Biarni arrived with his ship at Eyrar [in Iceland] in the summer 
of the same year, in the spring of which his father had sailed away. 
Biarni was much surprised when he heard this news, and would 
not discharge his cargo. His shipmates inquired of him what he 
intended to do, and he replied that it was his purpose to keep to his 
custom, and make his home for the winter with his father; "and I 
will take the ship to Greenland, if you will bear me company/* They 
all replied that they would abide by his decision. Then said Biarni, 
"Our voyage must be regarded as foolhardy, seeing that no one of 
us has ever been in the Greenland Sea." Nevertheless, they put out 
to sea when they were equipped for the voyage, and sailed for three 
days, until the land was hidden by the water, and then the fair wind 
died out, and north winds arose,,and fogs, and they knew not whither 
they were drifting, and thus it lasted for many "doegr." Then they 
saw the sun again, and were able to determine the quarters of the 
heavens; they hoisted sail, and sailed that "doegr" through before 
they saw land. They discussed among themselves what land it could 
be, and Biarni said that he did not believe that it could be Greenland. 


They asked whether he wished to sail to this land or not. "It is my 
counsel" [said he] "to sail close to the land." They did so, and soon 
saw that the land was level, and covered with woods, and that there 
were small hillocks upon it. They left the land on their larboard, and 
let the sheet turn toward the land. They sailed for two "dcegr" before 
they saw another land. They asked whether Biarni thought this was 
Greenland yet. He replied that he did not think this any more like 
Greenland than the former, "because in Greenland there are said to 
be many great ice mountains." They soon approached this land, and 
saw that it was a flat and wooded country. The fair wind failed them 
then, and the crew took counsel together, and concluded that it 
would be wise to land there, but Biarni would not consent to this. 
They alleged that they were in need of both wood and water. "Ye 
have no lack of either of these," says Biarni, a course, forsooth, 
which won him blame among his shipmates. He bade them hoist 
sail, which they did, and turning the prow from the land they sailed 
out upon the high seas, with south-westerly gales, for three "dcegr," 
when they saw the third land; this land was high and mountainous, 
with ice mountains upon it. They asked Biarni then whether he 
would land there, and he replied that he was not disposed to do so, 
"because this land does not appear to me to offer any attractions." 
Nor did they lower their sail, but held their course off the land, and 
saw that it was an island. They left this land astern, and held out to 
sea with the same fair wind. The wind waxed amain, and Biarni 
directed them to reef, and not to sail at a speed unbefitting their ship 
and rigging. They sailed now for four "dccgr," when they saw the 
fourth land. Again they asked Biarni whether he thought this could 
be Greenland or not. Biarni answers, "This is likest Greenland, 
according to that which has been reported to me concerning it, and 
here we will steer to the land." They directed their course thither, 
and landed in the evening, below a cape upon which there was a 
boat, and there, upon this cape, dwelt Heriulf, Biarni's father, whence 
the cape took its name, and was afterward called Heriulfsness. 
Biarni now went to his father, gave up his voyaging, and remained 
with his father while Heriulf lived, and continued to live there after 
his father. 



NEXT to this is now to be told how Biarni Heriulfsson came out 
from Greenland on a visit to Earl Eric, by whom he was well re- 
ceived. Biarni gave an account of his travels [upon the occasion] 
when he saw the lands, and the people thought that he had been 
lacking in enterprise, since he had no report to give concerning these 
countries; and the fact brought him reproach. Biarni was appointed 
one of the Earl's men, and went out to Greenland the following 
summer. There was now much talk about voyages of discovery. 
Leif, the son of Eric the Red, of Brattahlid, visited Biarni Heriulfsson 
and bought a ship of him, and collected a crew, until they formed 
altogether a company of thirty-five men. Leif invited his father, 
Eric, to become the leader of the expedition, but Eric declined, saying 
that he was then stricken in years, and adding that he was less 
able to endure the exposure of sea life than he had been. Leif replied 
that he would nevertheless be the one who would be most apt to bring 
good luck, and Eric yielded to Leif s solicitation, and rode from home 
when they were ready to sail. When he was but a short distance from 
the ship, the horse which Eric was riding stumbled, and he was 
thrown from his back and wounded his foot, whereupon he ex- 
claimed, "It is not designed for me to discover more lands than the 
one in which we are now living, nor can we now continue longer 
together." Eric returned home to Brattahlid, and Leif pursued his 
way to the ship with his companions, thirty-five men. One of the 
company was a German, named Tyrker. They put the ship in order; 
and, when they were ready, they sailed out to sea, and found first 
that land which Biarni and his shipmates found last. They sailed 
up to the land, and cast anchor, and launched a boat, and went 
ashore, and saw no grass there. Great ice mountains lay inland back 
from the sea, and it was as a [tableland ofj flat rock all the way 
from the sea to the ice mountain^; and the country seemed to them 
to be entirely devoid of good qualities. Then said Leif, "It has not 
come to pass with us in regard to this land as with Biarni, that we 
have not gone upon it. To this country I will now give a name, and 
call it Helluland." They returned to the ship, put out to sea, and 
found a second land. They sailed again to the land, and came to 


anchor, and launched the boat, and went ashore. This was a level 
wooded land; and there were broad stretches of white sand where 
they went, and the land was level by the sea. Then said Leif, "This 
land shall have a name after its nature; and we will call it Markland." 
They returned to the ship forthwith, and sailed away upon the main 
with north-east winds, and were out two "dcegr" before they sighted 
land. They sailed toward this land, and came to an island which 
lay to the northward off the land. There they went ashore and 
looked about them, the weather being fine, and they observed that 
there was dew upon the grass, and it so happened that they touched 
the dew with their hands, and touched their hands to their mouths, 
and it seemed to them that they had never before tasted anything 
so sweet as this. They went aboard their ship again and sailed into 
a certain sound, which lay between the island and a cape, which 
jutted out from the land on the north, and they stood in westering 
past the cape. At ebb-tide, there were broad reaches of shallow water 
there, and they ran their ship aground there, and it was a long dis- 
tance from the ship to the ocean; yet were they so anxious to go 
ashore that they could not wait until the tide should rise under their 
ship, but hastened to the land, where a certain river flows out from 
a lake. As soon as the tide rose beneath their ship, however, they 
took the boat and rowed to the ship, which they conveyed up the 
river, and so into the lake, where they cast anchor and carried their 
hammocks ashore from the ship, and built themselves booths there. 
They afterward determined to establish themselves there for the 
winter, and they accordingly built a large house. There was no lack 
of salmon there either in the river or in the lake, and larger salmon 
than they had ever seen before. The country thereabouts seemed 
to be possessed of such good qualities that cattle would need no fod- 
der there during the winters. There was no frost there in the winters, 
and the grass withered but little. The days and nights there were 
of more nearly equal length than in Greenland or Iceland. On the 
shortest day of winter, the sun was up between "eykarstad" and 
"dagmalastad." When they had completed their house, Leif said to 
his companions, "I propose now to divide our company into two 
groups, and to set about an exploration of the country. One-half of 
our party shall remain at home at the house, while the other half 


shall investigate the land; and they must not go beyond a point from 
which they can return home the same evening, and are not to sep- 
arate [from each other]. Thus they did for a time. Leif, himself, 
by turns joined the exploring party, or remained behind at the house. 
Leif was a large and powerful man, and of a most imposing bearing, 
a man of sagacity, and a very just man in all things. 


IT was discovered one evening that one of their company was 
missing; and this proved to be Tyrker, the German. Leif was sorely 
troubled by this, for Tyrker had lived with Leif and his father for 
a long time, and had been very devoted to Leif when he was a child. 
Leif severely reprimanded his companions, and prepared to go in 
search of him, taking twelve men with him. They had proceeded 
but a short distance from the house, when they were met by Tyrker, 
whom they received most cordially. Leif observed at once that his 
foster-father w^s in lively spirits. Tyrker had a prominent forehead, 
restless eyes, small features, was diminutive in stature, and rather a 
sorry-looking individual withal, but was, nevertheless, a most capable 
handicraftsman. Leif addressed him, and asked, "Wherefore art thou 
so belated, foster-father mine, and astray from the others?" In the 
beginning Tyrker spoke for some time in German, rolling his eyes 
and grinning, and they could not understand him; but after a time 
he addressed them in the Northern tongue: "I did not go much 
further [than you], and yet I have something of novelty to relate. I 
have found vines and grapes." "Is this indeed true, foster-father?" 
said Leif. "Of a certainty it is true," quoth he, "for I was born where 
there is no lack of either grapes or vines." They slept the night 
through, and on the morrow Leif said to his shipmates, "We will 
now divide our labors, and each day will either gather grapes or cut 
vines and fell trees, so as to obtain a cargo of these for my ship." 
They acted upon this advice, and it is said that their after-boat was 
filled with grapes. A cargo sufficient for the ship was cut, and when 
the spring came they made their ship ready, and sailed away; and 
from its products Leif gave the land a name, and called it Wineland. 
They sailed out to sea, and had fair winds until they sighted Green- 
land and the fells below the glaciers. Then one of the men spoke up 


and said, "Why do you steer the ship so much into the wind?" Leif 
answers: "I have my mind upon my steering, but on other matters 
as well. Do ye not see anything out of the common?" They replied 
that they saw nothing strange. "I do not know," says Leif, "whether 
it is a ship or a skerry that I see." Now they saw it, and said that it 
must be a skerry; but he was so much keener of sight than they that 
he was able to discern men upon the skerry. "I think it best to tack," 
says Leif, "so that we may draw near to them, that we may be able 
to render them assistance if they should stand in need of it; and, 
if they should not be peaceably disposed, we shall still have better 
command of the situation than they." They approached the skerry, 
and, lowering their sail, cast anchor, and launched a second small 
boat, which they had brought with them. Tyrker inquired who was 
the leader of the party. He replied that his name was Thori, and 
that he was a Norseman; "but what is thy name?" Leif gave his 
name. "Art thou a son of Eric the Red of Brattahlid?" says he. Leif 
responded that he was. "It is now my wish," says Leif, "to take you 
all into my ship, and likewise so much of your possessions as the 
ship will hold." This offer was accepted, and [with their ship] thus 
laden they held away to Ericsfirth, and sailed until they arrived at 
Brattahlid. Having discharged the cargo, Leif invited Thori, with 
his wife, Gudrid, and three others, to make their home with him, 
and procured quarters for the other members of the crew, both for 
his own and Thori's men. Leif rescued fifteen persons from the 
skerry. He was afterwards called Leif the Lucky. Leif had now 
goodly store both of property and honor. There was serious illness 
that winter in Thori's party, and Thori and a great number of his 
people died. Eric the Red also died that winter. There was now 
much talk about Leif's Wineland journey; and his brother, Thor- 
vald, held that the country had not been sufficiently explored. There- 
upon Leif said to Thorvald, "If it be thy will, brother, thou mayest 
go to Wineland with my ship; but I wish the ship first to fetch the 
wood which Thori had upon the skerry." And so it was done, 


Now Thorvald, with the advice of his brother, Leif, prepared to 
make this voyage with thirty men. They put their ship in order, 


and sailed out to sea; and there is no account of their voyage before 
their arrival at Leifs-booths in Wineland. They laid up their ship 
there, and remained there quietly during the winter, supplying them- 
selves with food by fishing. In the spring, however, Thorvald said 
that they should put their ship in order, and that a few men should 
take the after-boat, and proceed along the western coast, and explore 
[the region] thereabouts during the summer. They found it a fair, 
well-wooded country. It was but a short distance from the woods to 
the sea, and [there were] white sands, as well as great numbers of 
islands and shallows. They found neither dwelling of man nor 
lair of beast; but in one of the westerly islands they found a wooden 
building for the shelter of grain. They found no other trace of 
human handiwork; and they turned back, and arrived at Leifs-booths 
in the autumn. The following summer Thorvald set out toward 
the east with the ship, and along the northern coast. They were met 
by a high wind off a certain promontory, and were driven ashore 
there, and damaged the keel of their ship, and were compelled to 
remain there for a long time and repair the injury to their vessel. 
Then said Thorvald to his companions, "I propose that we raise the 
keel upon this cape, and call it Keelness"; and so they did. Then they 
sailed away to the eastward off the land and into the mouth of the 
adjoining firth and to a headland, which projected into the sea there, 
and which was entirely covered with woods. They found an anchor- 
age for their ship, and put out the gangway to the land; and Thor- 
vald and all of his companions went ashore. "It is a fair region here," 
said he; "and here I should like to make my home." They then 
returned to the ship, and discovered on the sands, in beyond the 
headland, three mounds: they went up to these, and saw that they 
were three skin canoes with three men under each. They thereupon 
divided their party, and succeeded in seizing all of the men but one, 
who escaped with his canoe. They killed the eight men, and then 
ascended the headland again, and looked about them, and discovered 
within the firth certain hillocks, which they concluded must be 
habitations. They were then so overpowered with sleep that they 
could not keep awake, and all fell into a [heavy] slumber from 
which they were awakened by the sound of a cry uttered above them; 
and the words of the cry were these: "Awake, Thorvald, thou and 


all thy company, if thou wouldst save thy life; and board thy ship 
with all thy men, and sail with all speed from the land!" A countless 
number of skin canoes then advanced toward them from the inner 
part of the firth, whereupon Thorvald exclaimed, "We must put out 
the war-boards on both sides of the ship, and defend ourselves to the 
best of our ability, but offer little attack." This they did; and the 
Skrellings, after they had shot at them for a time, fled precipitately, 
each as best he could. Thorvald then inquired of his men whether 
any of them had been wounded, and they informed him that no one 
of them had received a wound. "I have been wounded in my arm- 
pit," says he. "An arrow flew in between the gunwale and the shield, 
below my arm. Here is the shaft, and it will bring me to my end. 
I counsel you now to retrace your way with the utmost speed. But 
me ye shall convey to that headland which seemed to me to offer 
so pleasant a dwelling-place: thus it may be fulfilled that the truth 
sprang to my lips when I expressed the wish to abide there for a time. 
Ye shall bury me there, and place a cross at my head, and another at 
my feet, and call it Crossness forever after." At that time Chris- 
tianity had obtained in Greenland: Eric the Red died, however, 
before [the introduction of J Christianity. 

Thorvald died; and, when they had carried out his injunctions, 
they took their departure, and rejoined their companions, and they 
told each other of the experiences which had befallen them. They 
remained there during the winter, and gathered grapes and wood 
with which to freight the ship. In the following spring they re- 
turned to Greenland, and arrived with their ship in Ericsfirth, where 
they were able to recount great tidings to Leif . 


IN the mean time it had come to pass in Greenland that Thorstein 
of Ericsfirth had married, and taken to wife Gudrid, Thorbrion's 
daughter, [she] who had been the spouse of Thori Eastman, as has 
been already related. Now Thorstein Ericsson, being minded to 
make the voyage to Wineland after the body of his brother, Thor- 
vald, equipped the same ship, and selected a crew of twenty-five 
men of good size and strength, and taking with him his wife, Gudrid, 
when all was in readiness, they sailed out into the open ocean, and 


out of sight of land. They were driven hither and thither over the 
sea all that summer, and lost all reckoning; and at the end of the 
first week of winter they made the land at Lysufirth in Greenland, 
in the Western settlement. Thorstein set out in search of quarters 
for his crew, and succeeded in procuring homes for all of his ship- 
mates; but he and his wife were unprovided for, and remained to- 
gether upon the ship for two or more days. At this time Christianity 
was still in its infancy in Greenland. [Here follows the account of 
Thorstein's sickness and death in the winter.] . . . When he had 
thus spoken, Thorstein sank back again; and his body was laid out 
for burial, and borne to the ship. Thorstein, the master, faithfully 
performed all his promises to Gudrid. He sold his lands and live 
stock in the spring, and accompanied Gudrid to the ship, with all 
his possessions. He put the ship in order, procured a crew, and then 
sailed for Ericsfirth. The bodies of the dead were now buried at 
the church; and Gudrid then went home to Leif at Brattahlid, while 
Thorstein the Swarthy made a home for himself on Ericsfirth, and 
remained there as long as he lived, and was looked upon as a very 
superior man. 


THAT same summer a ship came from Norway to Greenland. The 
skipper's name was Thorfinn Karlsefni. He was a son of Thord 
Horsehead, and a grandson of Snorri, the son of Thord of Hofdi. 
Thorfinn Karlsefni, who was a very wealthy man, passed the winter 
at Brattahlid with Leif Ericsson. He very soon set his heart upon 
Gudrid, and sought her hand in marriage. She referred him to Leif 
for her answer, and was subsequently betrothed to him; and their 
marriage was celebrated that same winter. A renewed discussion 
arose concerning a Wineland voyage; and the folk urged Karlsefni 
to make the venture, Gudrid joining with the others. He determined 
to undertake the voyage, and assembled a company of sixty men 
and five women, and entered into an agreement with his shipmates 
that they should each share equally in all the spoils of the enterprise. 
They took with them all kinds of cattle, as it was their intention to 
settle the country, if they could. Karlsefni asked Leif for the house 
in Wineland; and he replied that he would lend it, but not give it 


They sailed out to sea with the ship, and arrived safe and sound at 
Leifs-booths, and carried their hammocks ashore there. They were 
soon provided with an abundant and goodly supply of food; for a 
whale of good size and quality was driven ashore there, and they 
secured it, and flensed it, and had then no lack of provisions. The 
cattle were turned out upon the land, and the males soon became very 
restless and vicious: they had brought a bull with them. Karlsefni 
caused trees to be felled and to be hewed into timbers wherewith 
to load his ship, and the wood was placed upon a cliff to dry. They 
gathered somewhat of all of the valuable products of the land, 
grapes, and all kinds of game and fish, and other good things. In 
the summer succeeding the first winter Skrellings were discovered. 
A great troop of men came forth from out the woods. The cattle 
were hard by, and the bull began to bellow and roar with a great 
noise, whereat the Skrellings were frightened, and ran away with 
their packs, wherein were gray furs, sables, and all kinds of peltries. 
They fled towards Karlsefni's dwelling, and sought to effect an en- 
trance into the house; but Karlsefni caused the doors to be defended 
[against them]. Neither [people] could understand the other's lan- 
guage. The Skrellings put down their bundles then, and loosed 
them, and offered their wares [for barter], and were especially 
anxious to exchange these for weapons; but Karlsefni forbade his 
men to sell their weapons, and, taking counsel with himself, he bade 
the women carry out milk to the Skrellings, which they no sooner 
saw than they wanted to buy it, and nothing else. Now the outcome 
of the Skrellings' trading was that they carried their wares away in 
their stomachs, while they left their packs and peltries behind with 
Karlsefni and his companions, and, having accomplished this [ex- 
change], they went away. Now it is to be told that Karlsefni caused 
a strong wooden palisade to be constructed and set up around the 
house. It was at this time that Gudrid, Karlsefni's wife, gave birth 
to a male child, and the boy was called Snorri. In the early part of 
the second winter the Skrellings came to them again, and these were 
now much more numerous than before, and brought with them the 
same wares as at first. Then said Karlsefni to the women, "Do ye 
carry out now the same food which proved so profitable before, and 
nought else*" When they saw; this, they cast their packs in over the 


palisade. Gudrid was sitting within, in the doorway, beside the 
cradle of her infant son, Snorri, when a shadow fell upon the door, 
and a woman in a black namkirtle entered. She was short in stature, 
and wore a fillet about her head; her hair was of a light chestnut 
color, and she was pale of hue, and so big-eyed that never before 
had eyes so large been seen in a human skull. She went up to where 
Gudrid was seated, and said, "What is thy name?*' "My name is 
Gudrid, but what is thy name?" "My name is Gudrid," says she. 
The housewife Gudrid motioned her with her hand to a seat beside 
her; but it so happened that at that very instant Gudrid heard a 
great crash, whereupon the woman vanished, and at that same 
moment one of the Skrellings, who had tried to seize their weapons, 
"was killed by one of Karlsefni's followers. At this the Skrellings fled 
precipitately, leaving their garments and wares behind them; and 
not a soul, save Gudrid alone, beheld this woman. "Now we must 
needs take counsel together," says Karlsefni; "for that I believe they 
will visit us a third time in great numbers, and attack us. Let us 
now adopt this plan. Ten of our number shall go out upon the 
cape, and show themselves there; while the remainder of our com- 
pany shall go into the woods and hew a clearing for our cattle, when 
the troop approaches from the forest. We will also take our bull, and 
let him go in advance of us." The lie of the land was such that the 
proposed meeting-place had the lake upon the one side and the 
forest upon the other. Karlsefni's advice was now carried into execu- 
tion. The Skrellings advanced to the spot which Karlsefni had 
selected for the encounter; and a battle was fought there, in which 
great numbers of the band of the Skrellings were slain. There was 
one man among the Skrellings, of large size and fine bearing, whom 
Karlsefni concluded must be their chief. One of the Skrellings 
picked up an axe; and, having looked at it for a time, he brandished 
it about one of his companions, and hewed at him, and on the instant 
the man fell dead. Thereupon the big man seized the axe; and, after 
examining it for a moment, he hurled it as far as he could out into 
the sea. Then they fled helter skelter into the woods, and thus their 
intercourse came to an end. Karlsefni and his party remained there 
throughout the winter; but in the spring Karlsefni announces that 
he is not minded to remain there longer, but will return to Green- 


land. They now made ready for the voyage, and carried away with 
them much booty in vines and grapes and peltries. They sailed out 
upon the high seas, and brought their ship safely to Ericsfirth, where 
they remained during the winter. 


THERE was now much talk about a Wineland voyage, for this was 
reckoned both a profitable and an honorable enterprise. The same 
summer that Karlsefni arrived from Wineland a ship from Norway 
arrived in Greenland. This ship was commanded by two brothers, 
Helgi and Finnbogi, who passed the winter in Greenland. They 
were descended from an Icelandic family of the East-firths. It is now 
to be added that Freydis, Eric's daughter, set out from her home at 
Gardar, and waited upon the brothers, Helgi and Finnbogi, and in- 
vited them to sail with their vessel to Wineland, and to share with 
her equally all of the good things which they might succeed in 
obtaining there. To this they agreed, and she departed thence to visit 
her brother, Leif, and ask him to give her the house which he had 
caused to be erected in Wineland; but he made her the same answer 
fas that which he had given KarlsefniJ, saying that he would lend 
the house, but not give it. It was stipulated between Karlsefni and 
Freydis that each should have on ship-board thirty able-bodied men, 
besides the women; but Freydis immediately violated this compact 
by concealing five men more [than this number], and this the 
brothers did not discover before they arrived in Wineland. They 
now put out to sea, having agreed beforehand that they would sail 
in company, if possible, and, although they were not far apart from 
each other, the brothers arrived somewhat in advance, and carried 
their belongings up to Leif's house. Now, when Freydis arrived, her. 
ship was discharged and the baggage carried up to the house, where- 
upon Freydis exclaimed, "Why did you carry your baggage in here?" 
"Since we believed," said they, "that all promises made to us would 
be kept." "It was to me that Leif loaned the house," says she, "and 
not to you. Whereupon Helgi exclaimed, "We brothers cannot 
hope to rival thee in wrong dealing." They thereupon carried their 
baggage forth, and built a hut, above the sea, on the bank of the 
lake, and put all in order about it; while Freydis caused wood to be 


felled, with which to load her ship. The winter now set in, and the 
brothers suggested that they should amuse themselves by playing 
games. This they did for a time, until the folk began to disagree, 
when dissensions arose between them, and the games came to an 
end, and the visits between the houses ceased; and thus it continued 
far into the winter. One morning early Freydis arose from her bed 
and dressed herself, but did not put on her shoes and stockings. A 
heavy dew had fallen, and she took her husband's cloak, and wrapped 
it about her, and then walked to the brothers' house, and up to the 
door, which had been only partly closed by one of the men, who had 
gone out a short time before. She pushed the door open, and stood 
silently in the doorway for a time. Finnbogi, who was lying on the 
innermost side of the room, was awake, and said, "What dost thou 
wish here, Freydis?" She answers, "I wish thee to rise and go out 
with me, for I would speak with thee." He did so; and they walked 
to a tree, which lay close by the wall of the house, and seated them- 
selves upon it. "How art thou pleased here?" says she. He answers, 
"I am well pleased with the fruitfulness of the land; but I am ill- 
content with the breach which has come between us, for, methinks, 
there has been no cause for it." "It is even as thou sayest," says she, 
"and so it seems to me; but my errand to thee is that I wish to 
exchange ships with you brothers, for that ye have a larger ship than 
I, and I wish to depart from here." "To this I must accede," says he, 
"if it is thy pleasure." Therewith they parted; and she returned home 
and Finnbogi to his bed. She climbed up into bed, and awakened 
Thorvard with her cold feet; and he asked her why she was so cold 
and wet. She answered with great passion: "I have been to the 
brothers," says she, "to try to buy their ship, for I wished to have a 
larger vessel; but they received my overtures so ill that they struck 
me and handled me very roughly; what time thou, poor wretch, wilt 
neither avenge my shame nor thy own; and I find, perforce, that I 
am no longer in Greenland. Moreover I shall part from thee unless 
thou wreakest vengeance for this.'' And now he could stand her 
taunts no longer, and ordered the men to rise at once and take their 
weapons; and this they yield. And they then proceeded directly to 
the house of the brothers, and entered it while the folk were asleep, 
and seized and bound them, and led each one out when he was 


bound; and, as they came out, Freydis caused each one to be slain. 
In this wise all of the men were put to death, and only the women 
were left; and these no one would kill. At this Freydis exclaimed, 
"Hand me an axe." This was done; and she fell upon the five 
women, and left them dead. They returned home after this dreadful 
deed; and it was very evident that Freydis was well content with her 
work. She addressed her companions, saying, "If it be ordained for 
us to come again to Greenland, I shall contrive the death of any man 
who shall speak of these events. We must give it out that we left 
them living here when we came away." Early in the spring they 
equipped the ship which had belonged to the brothers, and freighted 
it with all of the products of the land which they could obtain, and 
which the ship would carry. Then they put out to sea, and after 
a prosperous voyage arrived with their ship in Ericsfirth early in the 
summer. Karlsefni was there, with his ship all ready to sail, and 
was awaiting a fair wind; and people say that a ship richer laden 
than that which he commanded never left Greenland. 


FREYDIS now went to her home, since it had remained unharmed 
during her absence. She bestowed liberal gifts upon all of her com- 
panions, for she was anxious to screen her guilt. She now established 
herself at her home; but her companions were not all so close- 
mouthed concerning their misdeeds and wickedness that rumors did 
not get abroad at last. These finally reached her brother, Leif, and 
he thought it a most shameful story. He thereupon took three of 
the men, who had been of Freydis 1 party, and forced them all at the 
same time to a confession of the affair, and their stories entirely 
agreed. "I have no heart," says Leif, "to punish my sister, Freydis, 
as she deserves, but this I predict of them, that there is little prosperity 
in store for their offspring." Hence it came to pass that no one from 
that time forward thought them worthy of aught but evil. It now 
remains to take up the story from the time when Karlsefni made his 
ship ready, and sailed out to sea. He had a successful voyage, and 
arrived in Norway safe and sound. He remained there during the 
winter, and sold his wares; and both he and his wife were received 
with great favor by the most distinguished men of Norway. The 


following spring he put his ship in order for the voyage to Iceland; 
and when all his preparations had been made, and his ship was lying 
at the wharf, awaiting favorable winds, there came to him a South- 
erner, a native of Bremen in the Saxonland, who wished to buy his 
"house-neat." "I do not wish to sell it," says he. "I will give thee half 
a 'mork' in gold for it," says the Southerner. This Karlsefni thought 
a good offer, and accordingly closed the bargain. The Southerner 
went his way with the "house-neat," and Karlsefni knew not what 
wood it was, but it was "mosur," come from Wineland. 

Karlsefni sailed away, and arrived with his ship in the north of 
Iceland, in Skagafirth. His vessel was beached there during the 
winter, and in the spring he bought Glaumboeiar-land, and made 
his home there, and dwelt there as long as he lived, and was a man 
of the greatest prominence. From him and his wife, Gudrid, a 
numerous and goodly lineage is descended. After Karlsefni's death 
Gudrid, together with her son Snorri, who was born in Wineland, 
took charge of ;he farmstead; and, when Snorri was married, Gudrid 
went abroad, and made a pilgrimage to the South, after which she 
returned again to the home of her son Snorri, who had caused a 
church to be built at Glaumboer. Gudrid then took the veil and 
became an anchorite, and lived there the rest of her days. Snorri 
had a son, named Thorgeir, who was the father of Ingveld, the 
mother of Bishop Brand. Hallfrid was the name of the daughter of 
Snorri, K.-rlsefni's son: she was the mother of Runolf, Bishop Thor- 
lak's fath. r. Biorn was the name of [another] son of Karlsefni and 
Gudrid: l >-* was the father of Thorunn, the mother of Bishop Biorn. 
Many m i are descended from Karlsefni, and he has been blessed 
with a n< aerous and famous posterity; and of all men Karlsefni has 
given t\\< most exact accounts of all these voyages, of which some- 
thing ha i low been recounted. 




[The following letter was written by Columbus, near the end of his return 
voyage, to Luis de Sant Angel, Treasurer of Aragon, who had given him substantial 
help in fitting out his expedition. This announcement of his discovery of the West 
Indies was evidently intended for the eyes of Ferdinand and Isabella. The text of 
the present translation is taken from American History Leaflets, edited by Professors 
Hart and Charming.] 


AS I know you will be rejoiced at the glorious success that our 
/--% Lord has given me in my voyage, I write this to tell you how 
JL JL in thirty-three days I sailed to the Indies with the fleet that 
the illustrious King and Queen, our Sovereigns, gave me, where I 
discovered a great many islands, inhabited by numberless people; 
and of all I have taken possession for their Highnesses by proclama- 
tion and display of the Royal Standard without opposition. To the 
first island I discovered I gave the name of San Salvador, in com- 
memoration of His Divine Majesty, who has wonderfully granted all 
this. The Indians call it Guanaham. The second I named the Island 
of Santa Maria de Concepcion; the third, Fernandina; the fourth, 
Isabella; the fifth, Juana; and thus to each one I gave a new name. 
When I came to Juana, I followed the coast of that isle toward the 
west, and found it so extensive that I thought it might be the main- 
land, the province of Cathay; and as I found no towns nor villages 
on the sea-coast, except a few small settlements, where it was im- 
possible to speak to the people, because they fled at once, I continued 
the said route, thinking I could not fail to see some great cities or 
towns; and finding at the end of many leagues that nothing new 
appeared, and that the coast led northward, contrary to my wish, 
because the winter had already set in, I decided to make for the 


south, and as the wind also was against my proceeding, I determined 
not to wait there longer, and turned back to a certain harbor whence 
I sent two men to find out whether there was any king or large city. 
They explored for three days, and found countless small communities 
and people, without number, but with no kind of government, so 
they returned. 

I heard from other Indians I had already taken that this land was 
an island, and thus followed the eastern coast for one hundred and 
seven leagues, until I came to the end of it. From that point I saw 
another isle to the eastward, at eighteen leagues' distance, to which 
I gave the name of Hispaniola. I went thither and followed its 
northern coast to the east, as I had done in Juana, one hundred and 
seventy-eight leagues eastward, as in Juana. This island, like all the 
others, is most extensive. It has many ports along the sea-coast ex- 
celling any in Christendom and many fine, large, flowing rivers. 
The land there is elevated, with many mountains and peaks incom- 
parably higher than in the centre isle. They are most beautiful, of a 
thousand varied forms, accessible, and full of trees of endless vari- 
eties, so high that they seem to touch the sky, and I have been told 
that they never lose their foliage. I saw them as green and lovely 
as trees are in Spain in the month of May. Some of them were 
covered with blossoms, some with fruit, and some in other condi- 
tions, according to their kind. The nightingale and other small 
birds of a thousand kinds were singing in the month of November 
when I was there. There were palm trees of six or eight varieties, 
the graceful peculiarities of each one of them being worthy of 
admiration as are the other trees, fruits and grasses. There are won- 
derful pine woods, and very extensive ranges of meadow land. There 
is honey, and there are many kinds of birds, and a great variety of 
fruits. Inland there are numerous mines of metals and innumerable 
people. Hispaniola is a marvel. Its hills and mountains, fine plains 
and open country, are rich and fertile for planting and for pasturage, 
and for building towns and villages. The seaports there are incred- 
ibly fine, as also the magnificent rivers, most of which bear gold. 
The trees, fruits and grasses differ widely from those in Juana, 
There are many spices and vast mines of gold and other metals in 
this island. They have no iron, nor steel, nor weapons, nor are they 


fit for them, because although they are well-made men of command- 
ing stature, they appear extraordinarily timid. The only arms they 
have are sticks of cane, cut when in seed, with a sharpened stick at 
the end, and they are afraid to use these. Often I have sent two or 
three men ashore to some town to converse with them, and the 
natives came out in great numbers, and as soon as they saw our men 
arrive, fled without a moment's delay although I protected them 
from all injury. 

At every point where I landed, and succeeded in talking to them, 
I gave them some of everything I had cloth and many other things 
without receiving anything in return, but they are a hopelessly 
timid people. It is true that since they have gained more confidence 
and are losing this fear, they are so unsuspicious and so generous 
with what they possess, that no one who had not seen it would be- 
lieve it. They never refuse anything that is asked for. They even 
offer it themselves, and show so much love that they would give 
their very hearts. Whether it be anything of great or small value, 
with any trifle of whatever kind, they are satisfied. I forbade worth- 
less things being given to them, such as bits of broken bowls, pieces 
of glass, and old straps, although they were as much pleased to get 
them as if they were the finest jewels in the world. One sailor was 
found to have got for a leathern strap, gold of the weight of two and 
a half castellanos, and others for even more worthless things much 
more; while for a new blancas they would give all they had, were 
it two or three castellanos of pure gold or an arroba or two of spun 
cotton. Even bits of the broken hoops of wine casks they accepted, 
and gave in return what they had, like fools, and it seemed wrong 
to me. I forbade it, and gave a thousand good and pretty things that 
I had to win their love, and to induce them to become Christians, 
and to love and serve their Highness and the whole Castilian 
nation, and help to get for us things they have in abundance, which 
are necessary to us. They have no religion, nor idolatry, except that 
they all believe power and goodness to be in heaven. They firmly 
believed that I, with my ships and men, came from heaven, and with 
this idea I have been received everywhere, since they lost fear of me. 
They are, however, far from being ignorant. They are most in- 
genious men, and navigate these seas in a wonderful way, and 


describe everything well, but they never before saw people wearing 
clothes, nor vessels like ours. Directly I reached the Indies in the 
first isle I discovered, I took by force some of the natives, that from 
them we might gain some information of what there was in these 
parts; and so it was that we immediately understood each other, 
either by words or signs. They are still with me and still believe 
that I come from heaven. They were the first to declare this wher- 
ever I went, and the others ran from house to house, and to the towns 
around, crying out, "Come! come! and see the men from heaven!" 
Then all, both men and women, as soon as they were reassured about 
us, came, both small and great, all bringing something to eat and 
to drink, which they presented with marvellous kindness. In these 
isles there are a great many canoes, something like rowing boats, 
of all sizes, and most of them are larger than an eighteen-oared gal- 
ley. They are not so broad, as they are made of a single plank, but 
a galley could not keep up with them in rowing, because they go 
with incredible speed, and with these they row about among all 
these islands, which are innumerable, and carry on their commerce. 
I have seen some of these canoes with seventy and eighty men in 
them, and each had an oar. In all the islands I observed little dif- 
ference in the appearance of the people, or in their habits and lan- 
guage, except that they understand each other, which is remarkable. 
Therefore I hope that their Highnesses will decide upon the conver- 
sion of these people to our holy faith, to which they seem much 
inclined. I have already stated how I sailed one hundred and seven 
leagues along the sea-coast of Juana, in a straight line from west to 
east. I can therefore assert that this island is larger than England 
and Scotland together, since beyond these one hundred and seven 
leagues there remained at the west point two provinces where I did 
not go, one of which they call Avan, the home of men with tails. 
These provinces are computed to be fifty or sixty leagues in length, 
as far as can be gathered from the Indians with me, who are ac- 
quainted with all these islands. This other, Hispaniola, is larger in 
circumference than all Spain from Catalonia to Fuentarabia in Bis- 
cay, since upon one of its four sides I sailed one hundred and eighty- 
eight leagues from west to east. This is worth having, and must on 
no account be given up. I have taken possession of all these islands, 


for their Highnesses, and all may be more extensive than I know, or 
can say, and I hold them for their Highnesses, who can command 
them as absolutely as the kingdoms of Castile. In Hispaniola, in the 
most convenient place, most accessible for the gold mines and all 
commerce with the mainland on this side or with that of the great 
Khan, on the other, with which there would be great trade and 
profit, I have taken possession of a large town, which I have named 
the City of Navidad. I began fortifications there which should be 
completed by this time, and I have left in it men enough to hold it, 
with arms, artillery, and provisions for more than a year; and a boat 
with a master seaman skilled in the arts necessary to make others; 
I am so friendly with the king of that country that he was proud 
to call me his brother and hold me as such. Even should he change 
his mind and wish to quarrel with my men, neither he nor his sub- 
jects know what arms are, nor wear clothes, as 1 have said. They 
are the most timid people in the world, so that only the men remain- 
ing there could destroy the whole region, and run no risk if they 
know how to behave themselves properly. In all these islands the 
men seem to be satisfied with one wife, except they allow as many 
as twenty to their chief or king. The women appear to me to work 
harder than the men, and so far as I can hear they have nothing of 
their own, for I think I perceived that what one had others shared, 
especially food. In the islands so far, I have found no monsters, as 
some expected, but, on the contrary, they are people of very hand- 
some appearance. They are not black as in Guinea, though their 
hair is straight and coarse, as it does not grow where the sun's rays 
are too ardent. And in truth the sun has extreme power here, since 
it is within twenty-six degrees of the equinoctial line. In these islands 
there are mountains where the cold this winter was very severe, but 
the people endure it from habit, and with the aid of the meat they 
eat with very hot spices. 

As for monsters, I have found no trace of them except at the point 
in the second isle as one enters the Indies, which is inhabited by a 
people considered in all the isles as most ferocious, who eat human 
flesh. They possess many canoes, with which they overrun all the 
isles of India, stealing and seizing all they can. They are not worse 
looking than the others, except that they wear their hair long like 


women, and use bows and arrows of the same cane, with a sharp 
stick at the end for want of iron, of which they have none. They are 
ferocious compared to these other races, who are extremely cowardly; 
but I only hear this from the others. They are said to make treaties 
of marriage with the women in the first isle to be met with coming 
from Spain to the Indies, where there are no men. These women 
have no feminine occupation, but use bows and arrows of cane like 
those before mentioned, and cover and arm themselves with plates 
of copper, of which they have a great quantity. Another island, I am 
told, is larger than Hispaniola, where the natives have no hair, and 
where there is countless gold; and from them all I bring Indians 
to testify to this. To speak, in conclusion, only of what has been 
done during this hurried voyage, their Highnesses will see that I 
can give them as much gold as they desire, if they will give me a 
little assistance, spices, cotton, as much as their Highnesses may com- 
mand to be shipped, and mastic as much as their Highnesses choose 
to send for, wjiich until now has only been found in Greece, in the 
isle of Chios, and the Signoria can get its own price for it; as much 
lign-aloe as they command to be shipped, and as many slaves as 
they choose to send for, all heathens. I think I have found rhubarb 
and cinnamon. Many other things of value will be discovered by the 
men I left behind me, as I stayed nowhere when the wind allowed 
me to pursue my voyage, except in the City of Navidad, which I 
left fortified and safe. Indeed, I might have accomplished much 
more, had the crews served me as they ought to have done. The 
eternal and almighty God, our Lord, it is Who gives to all who 
walk in His way, victory over things apparently impossible, and in 
this case signally so, because although these lands had been imagined 
and talked of before they were seen, most men listened incredulously 
to what was thought to be but an idle tale. But our Redeemer has 
given victory to our most illustrious King and Queen, and to their 
kingdoms rendered famous by this glorious event, at which all 
Christendom should rejoice, cel&rating it with great festivities and 
solemn Thanksgivings to the Holy Trinity, with fervent prayers for 
the high distinction that will accrue to them from turning so many 
peoples to our holy faith; and also from the temporal benefits that 
not only Spain but all Christian nations will obtain. Thus I record 


what has happened in a brief note written on board the Caravel, off 
the Canary Isles, on the i5th of February, 1493. 

Yours to command, 


Postscript within the letter 

Since writing the above, being in the Sea of Castile, so much wind 
arose south southeast, that I was forced to lighten the vessels, to run 
into this port of Lisbon to-day which was the most extraordinary 
thing in the world, from whence I resolved to write to their High- 
nesses. In all the Indies I always found the temperature like that of 
May. Where I went in thirty-three days I returned in twenty-eight, 
except that these gales have detained me fourteen days, knocking 
about in this sea. Here all seamen say that there has never been so 
rough a winter, nor so many vessels lost. Done the i4th day of 

This letter Columbus sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, from 
the Islands discovered in the Indies, enclosed in another to their 




f Amerigo Vespucci was born in Florence in 1452 and died in Seville in 1512. He 
was employed in the latter city in the business house which fitted out Columbus's 
second expedition. The following letter gives his own account of the first of the 
four voyages which he claimed to have made to the New Woild. He seems to have 
touched the mainland a few weeks before Cabot, and some fourteen months before 
Columbus. The suspicions which long clouded his title to fame have been largely 
dissipated by modern investigation; and it seems to have been not without reason 
that Waldseemuller in 1507 proposed to call the new continent by his name. 

The present translation is made from Vespucci's Italian (published at Florence in 
1505-6) by "M. K.," for Quaritch's edition, London, 1885.] 


MAGNIFICENT Lord. After humble reverence and due 
commendations, etc. It may be that your Magnificence 
will be surprised by (this conjunction of) my rashness and 
your customary wisdom, in that I should so absurdly bestir myself 
to write to your Magnificence the present so-prolix letter: knowing 
(as I do) that your Magnificence is continually employed in high 
councils and affairs concerning the good government of this sublime 
Republic. And will hold me not only presumptuous, but also idly- 
meddlesome in setting myself to write things, neither suitable to 
your station, nor entertaining, and written in barbarous style, and 
outside of every canon of polite literature: but my confidence which 
I have in your virtues and in the truth of my writing, which are 
things (that) are not found written neither by the ancients nor by 
modern writers, as your Magnificence will in the sequel perceive, 
makes me bold. The chief cause which moved (me) to write to you, 
was at the request of the present bearer, who is named Benvenuto 
Benvenuti our Florentine (fellow-citizen), very much, as it is proven, 



your Magnificence's servant, and my very good friend: who happen- 
ing to be here in this city of Lisbon, begged that I should make 
communication to your Magnificence of the things seen by me in 
divers regions of the world, by virtue of four voyages which I have 
made in discovery of new lands: two by order of the king of Castile, 
King Don Ferrando VI., across the great gulf of the Ocean-sea, 
towards the west: and the other two by command of the puissant 
King Don Manuel King of Portugal, towards the south; telling me 
that your Magnificence would take pleasure thereof, and that herein 
he hoped to do you service: wherefore I set me to do it: because I 
am assured that your Magnificence holds me in the number of your 
servants, remembering that in the time of our youth I was your 
friend, and now (am your) servant: and (remembering our) going 
to hear the rudiments of grammar under the fair example and in- 
struction of the venerable monk friar of Saint Mark Fra Giorgio 
Antonio Vespucci: whose counsels and teaching would to God that 
I had followed : for as saith Petrarch, I should be another man than 
what I am. Howbeit soever I grieve not: because I have ever taken 
delight in worthy matters: and although these trifles of mine may 
not be suitable to your virtues, I will say to you as said Pliny to 
Maecenas, you were sometime wont to take pleasure in my prattlings : 
even though your Magnificence be continuously busied in public 
affairs, you will take some hour of relaxation to consume a little time 
in frivolous or amusing things: and as fennel is customarily given 
atop of delicious viands to fit them for better digestion, so may you, 
for a relief from your so heavy occupations, order this letter of 
mine to be read : so that they may withdraw you somewhat from the 
continual anxiety and assiduous reflection upon public affairs: and 
if I shall be prolix, I crave pardon, my Magnificent Lord. Your 
Magnificence shall know that the motive of my coming into this 
realm of Spain was to traffic in merchandise: and that I pursued this 
intent about four years: during which I saw and knew the incon- 
stant shif tings of Fortune: and how she kept changing those frail 
and transitory benefits: and how at one time she holds man on the 
summit of the wheel, and at another time drives him back from her, 
and despoils him of what may be called his borrowed riches: so that, 
knowing the continuous toil which man undergoes to win them, 


submitting himself to so many anxieties and risks, I resolved to 
abandon trade, and to fix my aim upon something more praise- 
worthy and stable: whence it was that I made preparation for going 
to see part of the world and its wonders: and herefor the time and 
place presented themselves most opportunely to me: which was 
that the King Don Ferrando of Castile being about to despatch four 
ships to discover new lands towards the west, I was chosen by his 
Highness to go in that fleet to aid in making discovery : and we set 
out from the port of Cadiz on the loth day of May 1497, and took 
our route through the great gulf of the Ocean-sea: in which voyage 
we were eighteen months (engaged) : and discovered much conti- 
nental land and innumerable islands, and great part of them inhab- 
ited: whereas there is no mention made by the ancient writers of 
them: I believe, because they had no knowledge thereof: for, if I 
remember well, I have read in some one (of those writers) that he 
considered that this Ocean-sea was an unpeopled sea: and of this 
opinion was Dante our poet in the xxvi. chapter of the Inferno, 
where he feigns the death of Ulysses, in which voyage I beheld things 
of great wondrousness, as your Magnificence shall understand. As I 
said above, we left the port of Cadiz four consort ships: and began 
our voyage in direct course to the Fortunate Isles which are called 
to-day la gran Canaria, which are situated in the Ocean-sea at the 
extremity of the inhabited west, (and) set in the third climate: over 
which the North Pole has an elevation of 27 and a half degrees 
beyond their horizon 1 and they are 280 leagues distant from this city 
of Lisbon, by the wind between mezzo di and libeccio: 2 where we 
remained eight days, taking in provision of water, and wood and 
other necessary things: and from here, having said our prayers, we 
weighed anchor, and gave the sails to the wind, beginning our course 
to westward, taking one quarter by south-west: 3 and so we sailed 
on till at the end of 37 days we reached a land which we deemed to 
be a continent: which is distant westwardly from the isles of Canary 
about a thousand leagues beyond the inhabited region 4 within the 

*That is, which are situate at 27 Yi degrees north latitude. 

2 South-south-west. It is to be remarked that Vespucci always uses the word wind 
to signify the course in which it blows, not the quarter from which it rises. 

*West and a quarter by south* west. 

4 This phrase is merely equivalent to a repetition of from the Canaries, these 
islands having been already designated the extreme western limit of inhabited land. 


torrid zone: for we found the North Pole at an elevation of 16 degrees 
above its horizon, 5 and (it was) westward, according to the shewing 
of our instruments, 75 degrees from the isles of Canary: whereat we 
anchored with our ships a league and a half from land; and we put 
out our boats freighted with men and arms: we made towards the 
land, and before we reached it, had sight of a great number of people 
who were going along the shore: by which we were much rejoiced: 
and we observed that they were a naked race: they shewed them- 
selves to stand in fear of us: I believe (it was) because they saw us 
clothed and of other appearance (than their own) : they all withdrew 
to a hill, and for whatsoever signals we made to them of peace and 
of friendliness, they would not come to parley with us: so that, as 
the night was now coming on, and as the ships were anchored in a 
dangerous place, being on a rough and shelterless coast, we decided 
to remove from there the next day, and to go in search of some 
harbour or bay, where we might place our ships in safety: and we 
sailed with the maestrale wind, 6 thus running along the coast with 
the land ever in sight, continually in our course observing people 
along the shore: till after having navigated for two days, we found 
a place sufficiently secure for the ships, and anchored half a league 
from land, on which we saw a very great number of people: and 
this same day we put to land with the boats, and sprang on shore 
full 40 men in good trim: and still the land's people appeared shy of 
converse with us, and we were unable to encourage them so much as 
to make them come to speak with us: and this day we laboured so 
greatly in giving them of our wares, such as rattles and mirrors, 
beads, spalline, and other trifles, that some of them took confidence 
and came to discourse with us: and after having made good friends 
with them, the night coming on, we took our leave of them and re- 
turned to the ships: and the next day when the dawn appeared we 
saw that there were infinite numbers of people upon the beach, and 
they had their women and children with them: we went ashore, and 
found that they were all laden with their worldly goods 7 which are 
suchlike as, in its (proper) place, shall be related: and before we 
reached the land, many of them jumped into the sea and came swim- 

fi That is, 1 6 degrees north latitude. 6 North-west. 

T Manteni menu. The word "all" (tttcte) is feminine, and probably refers only to 
the women. 


ming to receive us at a bowshot's length (from the shore), for they 
are very great swimmers, with as much confidence as if they had for 
a long time been acquainted with us: and we were pleased with this 
their confidence. For so much as we learned of their manner of 
life and customs, it was that they go entirely naked, as well the 
men as the women. . . . They are of medium stature, very well pro- 
portioned: their flesh is of a colour that verges into red like a lion's 
mane: and I believe that if they went clothed, they would be as 
white as we: they have not any hair upon the body, except the hair 
of the head which is long and black, and especially in the women, 
whom it renders handsome: in aspect they are not very good-looking, 
because they have broad faces, so that they would seem Tartar-like: 
they let no hair grow on their eyebrows, nor on their eyelids, nor 
elsewhere, except the hair of the head: for they hold hairiness to be a 
filthy thing: they are very light footed in walking and in running, 
as well the men as the women: so that a woman recks nothing of 
running a league or two, as many times we saw them do: and herein 
they have a very great advantage over us Christians: they swim 
(with an expertness) beyond all belief, and the women better than 
the men: for we have many times found and seen them swimming 
two leagues out at sea without anything to rest upon. Their arms are 
bows and arrows very well made, save that (the arrows) are not 
(tipped) with iron nor any other kind of hard metal: and instead 
of iron they put animals' or fishes' teeth, or a spike of tough wood, 
with the point hardened by fire: they are sure marksmen, for they 
hit whatever they aim at: and in some places the women use these 
bows: they have other weapons, such as fire-hardened spears, and 
also clubs with knobs, beautifully carved. Warfare is used amongst 
them, which they carry on against people not of their own lan- 
guage, very cruelly, without granting life to any one, except (to 
reserve him) for greater suffering. When they go to war, they take 
their women with them, not that these may fight, but because they 
carry behind them their worldly goods, for a woman carries on her 
back for thirty or forty leagues a load which no man could bear: 
as we have many times seen them do. They are not accustomed to 
have any Captain, nor do they go in any ordered array, for every 
one is lord of himself: and the cause of their wars is not for lust of 


dominion, nor of extending their frontiers, nor for inordinate covet- 
ousness, but for some ancient enmity which in by-gone times arose 
amongst them: and when asked why they made war, they knew 
not any other reason to give than that they did so to avenge the 
death of their ancestors, or of their parents : these people have neither 
King, nor Lord, nor do they yield obedience to any one, for they live 
in their own liberty: and how they be stirred up to go to war is (this) 
that when the enemies have slain or captured any of them, his oldest 
kinsman rises up and goes about the highways haranguing them 
to go with him and avenge the death of such his kinsman: and so 
are they stirred up by fellow-feeling: they have no judicial system, 
nor do they punish the ill-doer: nor does the father, nor the mother 
chastise the children: and marvellously (seldom) or never did we 
see any dispute among them: in their conversation they appear 
simple, and they are very cunning and acute in that which con- 
cerns them: they speak little and in a low tone: they use the same 
articulations as we, since they form their utterances either with the 
palate, or with the teeth, or on the lips: 8 except that they give dif- 
ferent names to things. Many are the varieties of tongues: for in 
every 100 leagues we found a change of language, so that they are 
not understandable each to the other. The manner of their living 
is very barbarous, for they do not eat at certain hours, and as often- 
times as they will: and it is not much of a boon to them 9 that the 
will may come more at midnight than by day, for they eat at all 
hours: and they cat upon the ground without a table-cloth or any 
other cover, for they have their meats either in earthen basins which 
they make themselves, or in the halves of pumpkins: they sleep in 
certain very large nettings made of cotton, suspended in the air: 
and although this their (fashion of) sleeping may seem uncomfort- 
able, I say that it is sweet to sleep in those (nettings) : and we slept 
better in them than in the counterpanes. They are a people smooth 
and clean of body, because of so continually washing themselves as 
they do. . . . Amongst those people we did not learn that they had 
any law, nor can they be called Moors nor Jews, and (they are) 

8 He means that they have no sounds in their language unknown to European 
organs of speech, all being either palatals or dentals or labials. 

* I have translated "ft non si da loro molto" as "it is not much of a boon to 
them," but may be "it matters not much to them." 


worse than pagans : because we did not observe that they offered any 
sacrifice: nor even had they a house of prayer: their manner of 
living I judge to be Epicurean: their dwellings are in common: and 
their houses (are) made in the style of huts, but strongly made, 
and constructed with very large trees, and covered over with 
palm-leaves, secure against storms and winds: and in some places 
(they are) of so great breadth and length, that in one single house 
we found there were 600 souls: and we saw a village of only thirteen 
houses where there were four thousand souls: every eight or ten 
years they change their habitations: and when asked why they did 
so: (they said it was) because of the soil which, from its filthiness, 
was already unhealthy and corrupted, and that it bred aches in their 
bodies, which seemed to us a good reason: their riches consist of 
birds' plumes of many colours, or of rosaries which they make from 
fishbones, or of white or green stones which they put in their cheeks 
and in their lips and ears, and of many other things which we in no 
wise value: jhey use no trade, they neither buy nor sell. In fine, they 
live and are contented with that which nature gives them. The 
wealth that we enjoy in this our Europe and elsewhere, such as 
gold, jewels, pearls, and other riches, they hold as nothing; and 
although they have them in their own lands, they do not labour 
to obtain them, nor do they value them. They are liberal in giving, 
for it is rarely they deny you anything: and on the other hand, 
liberal in asking, when they shew themselves your friends. . . . 
When they die, they use divers manners of obsequies, and some they 
bury with water and victuals at their heads: thinking that they shall 
have (whereof) to eat: they have not nor do they use ceremonies 
of torches nor of lamentation. In some other places, they use the 
most barbarous and inhuman burial, which is that when a suffering 
or infirm (person) is as it were at the last pass of death, his kinsmen 
carry him into a large forest, and attach one of those nets, of theirs, 
in which they sleep, to two trees, and then put him in it, and dance 
around him for a whole day: and when the night comes on they 
place at his bolster, water with other victuals, so that he may be able 
to subsist for four or six days: and then they leave him alone and 
return to the village: and if the sick man helps himself, and eats, 
and drinks, and survives, he returns to the village, and his (friends) 


receive him with ceremony: but few are they who escape: without 
receiving any further visit they die, and that is their sepulture: and 
they have many other customs which for prolixity are not related. 
They use in their sicknesses various forms of medicines, 10 so different 
from ours that we marvelled how any one escaped: for many times 
I saw that with a man sick of fever, when it heightened upon him, 
they bathed him from head to foot with a large quantity of cold 
water: then they lit a great fire around him, making him turn and 
turn again every two hours, until they tired him and left him to 
sleep, and many were (thus) cured: with this they make use of 
dieting, for they remain three days without eating, and also of 
blood-letting, but not from the arm, only from the thighs and the 
loins and the calf of the leg: also they provoke vomiting with their 
herbs which are put into the mouth: and they use many other 
remedies which it would be long to relate: they are much vitiated 
in the phlegm and in the blood because of their food which con- 
sists chiefly of roots of herbs, and fruits and fish: they have no 
seed of wheat nor other grain: and for their ordinary use and 
feeding, they have a root of a tree, from which they make flour, 
tolerably good, and they call it luca, and another which they call 
Cazabi, and another Ignami: they eat little flesh except human 
flesh: for your Magnificence must know that herein they are so 
inhuman that they outdo every custom (even) of beasts; for they 
eat all their enemies whom they kill or capture, as well females as 
males with so much savagery, that (merely) to relate it appears 
a horrible thing: how much more so to see it, as, infinite times and 
in many places, it was my hap to see it: and they wondered to 
hear us say that we did not eat our enemies: and this ycur Mag- 
nificence may take for certain, that their other barbarous customs 
are such that expression is too weak for the reality : and as in these 
four voyages I have seen so many things diverse from our customs, 
I prepared to write a common-place-book which I name LE QUATTRO 
GIORNATE: in which I have set down the greater part of the things 
which I saw, sufficiently in detail, so far as my feeble wit has 
allowed me: which I have not yet published, because I have so ill 
a taste for my own things that I do not relish those which I have 
10 That is, "medical treatment." 


written, notwithstanding that many encourage me to publish it: 
therein everything will be seen in detail: so that I shall not enlarge 
further in this chapter: as in the course of the letter we shall come 
to many other things which are particular: let this suffice for the 
general. At this beginning, we saw nothing in the land of much 
profit, except some show of gold: I believe the cause of it was that 
we did not know the language: but in so far as concerns the situa- 
tion and condition of the land, it could not be better: we decided 
to leave that place, and to go further on, continuously coasting the 
shore: upon which we made frequent descents, and held converse 
with a great number of people: and at the end of some days we 
went into a harbour where we underwent very great danger: and 
it pleased the Holy Ghost to save us: and it was in this wise. We 
landed in a harbour, where we found a village built like Venice 
upon the water: there were about 44 large dwellings in the form of 
huts erected upon very thick piles, and they had their doors or 
entrances i# the style of drawbridges: and from each house one 
could pass through all, by means of the drawbridges which stretched 
from house to house: and when the people thereof had seen us, 
they appeared to be afraid of us, and immediately drew up all the 
bridges: and while we were looking at this strange action, we saw 
coming across the sea about 22 canoes, which are a kind of boats 
of theirs, constructed from a single tree: which came towards our 
boats, as they had been surprised by our appearance and clothes, and 
kept wide of us: and thus remaining, we made signals to them that 
they should approach us, encouraging them with every token of 
friendliness: and seeing that they did not come, we went to them, 
and they did not stay for us, but made to the land, and, by signs, 
told us to wait, and that they should soon return: and they went 
to a hill in the background, and did not delay long: when they 
returned, they led with them 16 of their girls, and entered with 
these into their canoes, and came to the boats: and in each boat they 
put 4 of the girls. That we marvelled at this behavior your Mag- 
nificence can imagine how much, and they placed themselves with 
their canoes among our boats, coming to speak with us: insomuch 
that we deemed it a mark of friendliness: and while thus engaged, 
we beheld a great number of people advance swimming towards 


us across the sea, who came from the houses: and as they were 
drawing near to us without any apprehension: just then there 
appeared at the doors of the houses certain old women, uttering 
very loud cries and tearing their hair to exhibit grief: whereby 
they made us suspicious, and we each betook ourselves to arms: 
and instantly the girls whom we had in the boats, threw them- 
selves into the sea, and the men of the canoes drew away from us, 
and began with their bows to shoot arrows at us: and those who 
were swimming each carried a lance held, as covertly as they could, 
beneath the water: so that, recognizing the treachery, we engaged 
with them, not merely to defend ourselves, but to attack them 
vigorously, and we overturned with our boats many of their almadie 
or canoes, for so they call them, we made a slaughter (of them), and 
they all flung themselves into the water to swim, leaving their canoes 
abandoned, with considerable loss on their side, they went swimming 
away to the shore: there died of them about 15 or 20, and many were 
left wounded: and of ours 5 were wounded, and all, by the grace of 
God, escaped (death) : we captured two of the girls and two men: 
and we proceeded to their houses, and entered therein, and in them 
all we found nothing else than two old women and a sick man: 
we took away from them many things, but of small value: and we 
would not burn their houses, because it seemed to us (as though 
that would be) a burden upon our conscience: and we returned 
to our boats with five prisoners: and betook ourselves to the ships, 
and put a pair of irons on the feet of each of the captives, except 
the little girls: and when the night came on, the two girls and one 
of the men fled away in the most subtle manner possible: and next 
day we decided to quit that harbour and go further onwards: 
we proceeded continuously skirting the coast, (until) we had sight 
of another tribe distant perhaps some 80 leagues from the former 
tribe: and we found them very different in speech and customs: we 
resolved to cast anchor, and went ashore with the boats, and we saw 
on the beach a great number of people amounting probably to 4000 
souls: and when we had reached the shore, they did not stay for us, 
but betook themselves to flight through the forests, abandoning 
their things: we jumped on land, and took a pathway that led to 
the forest: and at the distance of a bow-shot we found their tents, 


where they had made very large fires, and two (of them) were 
cooking their victuals, and roasting several animals, and fish of 
many kinds: where we saw that they were roasting a certain animal 
which seemed to be a serpent, save that it had no wings, and was 
in its appearance so loathsome that we marvelled much at its savage- 
ness: Thus went we on through their houses, or rather tents, and 
found many of those serpents alive, and they were tied by the 
feet and had a cord around their snouts, so that they could not 
open their mouths, as is done (in Europe) with mastiff-dogs so that 
they may not bite: they were of such savage aspect that none of 
us dared to take one away, thinking that they were poisonous: 
they are of the bigness of a kid, and in length an ell and a half: 11 
their feet are long and thick, and armed with big claws: they have 
a hard skin, and are of various colours: they have the muzzle and 
face of a serpent: and from their snouts there rises a crest like a 
saw which extends along the middle of the back as far as the tip 
of the tail: ;.n fine we deemed them to be serpents and venomous, 
and (nevertheless, those people) ate them: we found that they 
made bread out of little fishes which they took from the sea, first 
boiling them, (then) pounding them, and making thereof a paste, 
or bread, and they baked them on the embers: thus did they eat 
them: we tried it, and found that it was good: they had so many 
other kinds of eatables, and especially of fruits and roots, that it 
would be a large matter to describe them in detail: and seeing that 
the people did not return, we decided not to touch nor take away 
anything of theirs, so as better to reassure them: and we left in 
the tents for them many of our things, placed where they should 
see them, and returned by night to our ships: and the next day, 
when it was light, we saw on the beach an infinite number of 
people: and we landed: and although they appeared timorous 
towards us, they took courage nevertheless to hold converse with 
us, giving us whatever we asked of them: and shewing themselves 
very friendly towards us, they'told us that those were their dwellings, 
and that they had come hither for the purpose of fishing: and they 
begged that we would visit their dwellings and villages, because 
they desired to receive us as friends: and they engaged in such 
11 This animal was the iguana. 


friendship because of the two captured men whom we had with 
us, as these were their enemies: insomuch that, in view of such 
importunity on their part, holding a council, we determined that 
28 of us Christians in good array should go with them, and in the 
firm resolve to die if it should be necessary: and after we had been 
here some three days, we went with them inland: and at three 
leagues from the coast we came to a village of many people and 
few houses, for there were no more than nine (of these) : where we 
were received with such and so many barbarous ceremonies that the 
pen suffices not to write them down: for there were dances, and 
songs, and lamentations mingled with rejoicing, and great quantities 
of food: and here we remained the night: . . . and after having 
been here that night and half the next day, so great was the number 
of people who came wondering to behold us that they were beyond 
counting: and the most aged begged us to go with them to other 
villages which were further inland, making display of doing us 
the greatest honour: wherefore we decided to go: and it would 
be impossible to tell you how much honour they did us: and we 
went to several villages, so that we were nine days journeying, so 
that our Christians who had remained with the ships were already 
apprehensive concerning us: and when we were about 18 leagues 
in the interior of the land, we resolved to return to the ships: and 
on our way back, such was the number of people, as well men as 
women, that came with us as far as the sea, that it was a wondrous 
thing: and if any of us became weary of the march, they carried 
us in their nets very refreshingly: and in crossing the rivers, which 
are many and very large, they passed us over by skilful means so 
securely that we ran no danger whatever, and many of them came 
laden with the things which they had given us, which consisted 
in their sleeping-nets, and very rich feathers, many bows and 
arrows, innumerable popinjays of divers colours: and others brought 
with them loads of their household goods, and of animals: but a 
greater marvel will I tell you, that, when we had to cross a river, 
he deemed himself lucky who was able to carry us on his back: and 
when we reached the sea, our boats having arrived, we entered into 
them: and so great was the struggle which they made to get into 
our boats, and to come to see our ships, that we marvelled (thereat) : 


and in our boats we took as many of them as we could, and made 
our way to the ships, and so many (others) came swimming that 
we found ourselves embarrassed in seeing so many people in the 
ships, for there were over a thousand persons all naked and un- 
armed: they were amazed by our (nautical) gear and contrivances, 
and the size of the ships: and with them there occurred to us a very 
laughable affair, which was that we decided to fire off some of 
our great guns, and when the explosion took place, most of them 
through fear cast themselves (into the sea) to swim, not otherwise 
than frogs on the margins of a pond, when they see something 
that frightens them, will jump into the water, just so did those 
people: and those who remained in the ships were so terrified that 
we regretted our action: however we reassured them by telling them 
that with those arms we slew our enemies: and when they had 
amused themselves in the ships the whole day, we told them to go 
away because we desired to depart that night, and so separating 
from us with much friendship and love, they went away to land. 
Amongst that people and in their land, I knew and beheld so many 
of their customs and ways of living, that I do not care to enlarge 
upon them: for Your Magnificence must know that in each of my 
voyages I have noted the most wonderful things, and I have indited 
it all in a volume after the manner of a geography: and I entitle it 
LE QUATTRO GIORNATE: in which work the things are comprised 
in detail, and as yet there is no copy of it given out, as it is neces- 
sary for me to revise it. This land is very populous, and full of 
inhabitants, and of numberless rivers, (and) animals: few (of 
which) resemble ours, excepting lions, panthers, stags, pigs, goats, 
and deer: and even these have some dissimilarities of form: they 
have no horses nor mules, nor, saving your reverence, asses nor 
dogs, nor any kind of sheep or oxen: but so numerous are the other 
animals which they have, and all are savage, and of none do they 
make use for their service, that they could not be counted. What 
shall we say of others (such ds) birds? which are so numerous, and 
of so many kinds, and of such various-coloured plumages, that it 
is a marvel to behold them. The soil is very pleasant and fruitful, 
full of immense woods and forests: and it is always green, for the 
foliage never drops off. The fruits are so many that they are num- 


berlcss and entirely different from ours. This land is within the 
torrid zone, close to or just under the parallel described by the 
Tropic of Cancer: where the pole of the horizon has an elevation of 
23 degrees, at the extremity of the second climate. 12 Many tribes 
came to sec us, .and wondered at our faces and our whiteness: and 
they asked us whence we came: and we gave them to understand 
that we had come from heaven, and that we were going to see the 
world, and they believed it. In this land we placed baptismal fonts, 
and an infinite (number of) people were baptised, and they called 
us in their language Carabi, which means men of great wisdom. 
We took our departure from that port: and the province is called 
Lariab: and we navigated along the coast, always in sight of land, 
until we had run 870 leagues of it, still going in the direction of 
the maestrale (north-west) making in our course many halts, and 
holding intercourse with many peoples: and in several places we 
obtained gold by barter but not much in quantity, for we had done 
enough in discovering the land and learning that they had gold. 
We had now been thirteen months on the voyage: and the vessels 
and the tackling were already much damaged, and the men worn 
out by fatigue: we decided by general council to haul our ships on 
land and examine them for the purpose of stanching leaks, as they 
made much water, and of caulking and tarring them afresh, and 
(then) returning towards Spain: and when we came to this de- 
termination, we were close to a harbour the best in the world: into 
which we entered with our vessels: where we found an immense 
number of people: who received us with much friendliness: and on 
the shore we made a bastion 13 with our boats and with barrels and 
casks, and our artillery, which commanded every point: and our ships 
having been unloaded and lightened, we drew them upon land, 
and repaired them in everything that was needful: and the land's 
people gave us very great assistance: and continually furnished us 
with their victuals: so that in this port we tasted little of our own, 
which suited our game well: for the stock of provisions which we 
had for our return-passage was little and of sorry kind: where (i.c. f 
there) we remained 37 days: and went many times to their villages: 
where they paid us the greatest honour: and (now) desiring to 
12 That is, 23 degrees north latitude. 13 Fort or barricade. 


depart upon our voyage, they made complaint to us how at certain 
times of the year there came from over the sea to this their land, 
a race of people very cruel, and enemies of theirs: and (who) by 
means of treachery or of violence slew many of them, and ate them: 
and some they made captives, and carried them away to their 
houses, or country: and how they could scarcely contrive to defend 
themselves from them, making signs to us that (those) were an 
island-people and lived out in the sea about a hundred leagues away : 
and so piteously did they tell us this that we believed them: and 
we promised to avenge them of so much wrong: and they remained 
overjoyed herewith: and many of them offered to come along with 
us, but we did not wish to take them for many reasons, save that we 
took seven of them, on condition that they should come (/>., return 
home) afterwards in (their own) canoes because we did not desire 
to be obliged to take them back to their country: and they were 
contented: and so we departed from those people, leaving them 
very friendly towards us: and having repaired our ships, and sailing 
for seven days out to sea between northeast and east: and at the 
end of the seven days we came upon the islands, which were many, 
some (of them) inhabited, and others deserted: and we anchored 
at one of them : where we saw a numerous people who called it Iti : 
and having manned our boats with strong crews, and (takfn am- 
munition for) three cannon-shots in each, we made for land: where 
we found (assembled) about 400 men, and many women, and all 
naked like the former (peoples). They were of good bodily pres- 
ence, and seemed right warlike men: for they were armed with 
their weapons, which are bows, arrows, and lances: and most of 
them had square wooden targets: and bore them in such wise that 
they did not impede the drawing of the bow: and when we had 
come with our boats to about a bowshot of the land, they all sprang 
into the water to shoot their arrows at us and to prevent us from 
leaping upon shore: and they all had their bodies painted of various 
colours, and (were) plumed with feathers: and the interpreters who 
were with us told us that when (those) displayed themselves so 
painted and plumed, it was to betoken that they wanted to fight: 
and so much did they persist in preventing us from landing, that 
we were compelled to play with our artillery : and when they heard 


the explosion, and saw one of them fall dead, they all drew back to 
the land: wherefore, forming our council, we resolved that 42 of our 
men should spring on shore, and, if they waited for us, fight them : 
thus having leaped to land with our weapons, they advanced 
towards us, and we fought for about an hour, for we had but little 
advantage of them, except that our arbalasters and gunners killed 
some of them, and they wounded certain of our men: and this was 
because they did not stand to receive us within reach of lance-thrust 
or sword-blow: and so much vigour did we put forth at last, that 
we came to sword-play, and when they tasted our weapons, they 
betook themselves to flight through the mountains and the forests, 
and left us conquerors of the field with many of them dead and a 
good number wounded: and for that day we took no other pains to 
pursue them, because we were very weary, and we returned to our 
ships, with so much gladness on the part of the seven men who had 
come with us that they could not contain themselves (for joy) : and 
when the next day arrived, we beheld coming across the land a great 
number of people, with signals of battle, continually sounding 
horns, and various other instruments which they use in their wars: 
and all (of them) painted and feathered, so that it was a very strange 
sight to behold them: wherefore all the ships held council, and it 
was resolved that since this people desired hostility with us, we 
should proceed to encounter them and try by every means to make 
them friends: in case they would not have our friendship, that we 
should treat them as foes, and so many of them as we might be able 
to capture should all be our slaves: and having armed ourselves as 
best we could, we advanced towards the shore, and they sought not 
to hinder us from landing, I believe from fear of the cannons: and 
we jumped on land, 57 men in four squadrons, each one (consisting 
of) a captain and his company: and we came to blows with them: 
and after a long battle (in which) many of them (were) slain, we 
put them to flight, and pursued them to a village, having made 
about 250 of them captives, and we burnt the village, and returned 
to our ships with victory and 250 prisoners, leaving many of them 
dead and wounded, and of ours there were no more than one killed, 
and 22 wounded, who all escaped (/>., recovered) , God be thanked. 
We arranged our departure, and seven men, of whom five were 


wounded, took an island-canoe, and with seven prisoners that we 
gave them, four women and three men, returned to their (own) 
country full of gladness, wondering at our strength: and we thereon 
made sail for Spain with 222 captive slaves: and reached the port of 
Calls (Cadiz) on the I5th day of October, 1498, where we were well 
received and sold our slaves. Such is what befell me, most note- 
worthy, in this my first voyage. 



[Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) was a native of Genoa and a citizen of Venice, 
who obtained letters-patent from Henry VII. of England in 1496, for a voyage of 
discovery. In the summer of 1497, he crossed the Atlantic and discovered the main- 
land of North America probably the Labrador coast. On this achievement was 
based the claim of England to North America. The following three documents contain 
all the evidence from contemporary witnesses whose information may have come 
from John Cabot himself. The text followed is from the Hakluyt Society's edition of 
Columbus's Journal.] 



LONDON, 23rd August, 1497. 

OUR Venetian, who went with a small ship from Bristol to 
find new islands, has come back, and says he has discovered, 
700 leagues off, the mainland of the country of the Gran 
Cam, and that he coasted along it for 300 leagues, and landed, 
but did not see any person. But he has brought here to the king 
certain snares spread to take game, and a needle for making nets, 
and he found some notched trees, from which he judged that there 
were inhabitants. Being in doubt, he came back to the ship. He 
has been away three months on the voyage, which is certain, and, in 
returning, he saw two islands to the right, but he did not wish to 
land, lest he should lose time for he was in want of provisions. This 
king has been much pleased. He says that the tides are slack, and 
do not make currents as they do here. The king has promised for 
another time, ten armed ships as he desires, and has given him all the 
prisoners, except such as are confined for high treason, to go with 
him, as he has requested; and has granted him money to amuse 
himself till then. Meanwhile, he is with his Venetian wife and his 

1 Calendar of State Papers (Venice), i. p. 262, No. 752. 


sons at Bristol. His name is Zuam Talbot, 2 and he is called the 
Great Admiral, great honour being paid to him, and he goes dressed 
in silk. The English are ready to go with him, and so are many 
of our rascals. The discoverer of these things has planted a large 
cross in the ground with a banner of England, and one of St. Mark, 
as he is a Venetian; so that our flag has been hoisted very far away. 

First Despatch of Raimondo di Soncino to the Du^e of 
Milan? (Extract.] 

24th AUGUST, 1497. 

Some month afterwards His Majesty sent a Venetian, who is a 
distinguished sailor, and who was much skilled in the discovery of 
new islands, and he has returned safe, and has discovered two very 
large and fertile islands, having, it would seem, discovered the seven 
cities 400 leagues from England to the westward. These successes 
led His Majesty at once to entertain the intention of sending him 
with fifteen or twenty vessels. 

Second Despatch of Raimondo di Soncino to the 
Du^e of Milan? 

1 8th DECEMBER, 1497. 
My most illustrious and most excellent Lord, 

Perhaps amidst so many occupations of your Excellency it will 
not be unwelcome to learn how this Majesty has acquired a part of 
Asia without drawing his sword. In this kingdom there is a certain 
Venetian named Zoanne Caboto, of gentle disposition, very expert 
in navigation, who, seeing that the most serene Kings of Portugal 
and Spain had occupied unknown islands, meditated the achieve- 
ment of a similar acquisition for the said Majesty. Having obtained 
royal privileges securing to himself the use of the dominions he 
might discover, the sovereignty being reserved to the Crown, he 
entrusted his fortune to a small vessel with a crew of 18 persons, 
and set out from Bristo, a port in the western part of this kingdom. 
Having passed Ibernia, which is still further to the west, and then 

*A misprint: "T" for "C." 

8 Calendar of State Papers (Venice), iiL p. 260, No. 750. 

4 Annuario Scientifico, Milan, 1866, p. 700; At chit' d'Etat Milan, reprinted by 
Harrisse in his John Cabot, p. 324, from the Intorno of Desimoni, and translated from 
his text for the Hakluyt Society, with his permission. 


shaped a northerly course, he began to navigate to the eastern part, 
leaving (during several days) the North Star on the right hand; and 
having wandered thus for a long time, at length he hit upon land, 
where he hoisted the royal standard, and took possession for his 
Highness, and, having obtained various proofs of his discovery, he 
returned. The said Messer Zoanne, being a foreigner and poor, 
would not have been believed if the crew, who are nearly all Eng- 
lish, and belonging to Bristo, had not testified that what he said 
was the truth. This Messer Zoanne has the description of the world 
on a chart, and also on a solid sphere which he has constructed, and 
on which he shows where he has been; and, proceeding towards the 
east, he has passed as far as the country of the Tanais. And they 
say that there the land is excellent and (the climate?) temperate, 
suggesting that brasil and silk grow there. They affirm that the 
sea is full of fish, which are not only taken with a net, but also 
with a basket, a stone being fastened to it in order to keep it in 
the water; and this I have heard stated by the said Messer Zoanne. 
The said Englishmen, his companions, say that they took so 
many fish that this kingdom will no longer have need of Iceland, 
from which country there is an immense trade in the fish they 
call stock-fish. But Messer Zoanne has set his mind on higher 
things, for he thinks that, when that place has been occupied, he 
will keep on still further towards the east, where he will be opposite 
to an island called Cipango, situated in the equinoctial region, 
where he believes that all the spices of the world, as well as the 
jewels, are found. He further says that he was once at Mecca, 
whither the spices are brought by caravans from distant countries; 
and having inquired from whence they were brought and where 
they grow, they answered that they did not know, but that such 
merchandize was brought from distant countries by other caravans 
to their home; and they further say that they are also conveyed from 
other remote regions. And he adduced this argument, that if the 
eastern people tell those in the south that these things come from a 
far distance from them, presupposing the rotundity of the earth, it 
must be that the last turn would be by the north towards the west; 
and it is said that in this way the route would not cost more than 
it costs now, and I also believe it. And what is more, this Majesty, 
who is wise and not prodigal, reposes such trust in him because of 


what he has already achieved, that he gives him a good maintenance, 
as Messer Zoanne has himself told me. And it is said that before 
long his Majesty will arm some ships for him, and will give him 
all the malefactors to go to that country and form a colony, so that 
they hope to establish a greater depot of spices in London than 
there is in Alexandria. The principal people in the enterprise belong 
to Bristo. They are great seamen, and, now that they know where 
to go, they say that the voyage thither will not occupy more than 
15 days after leaving Ibernia. I have also spoken with a Burgundian, 
who was a companion of Messer Zoanne, who affirms all this, and 
who wishes to return because the Admiral (for so Messer Zoanne 
is entitled) has given him an island, and has given another to his 
barber of Castione, 5 who is a Genoese, and both look upon themselves 
as Counts; nor do they look upon my Lord the Admiral as less than 
a Prince. I also believe that some poor Italian friars are going on 
this voyage, who have all had bishopricks promised to them. And if 
I had made friends with the Admiral when he was about to sail, I 
should have got an archbishoprick at least; but I have thought that 
the benefits reserved for me by your Excellency will be more secure. 
I would venture to pray that, in the event of a vacancy taking place 
in my absence, I may be put in possession, and that I may not be 
superseded by those who, being present, can be more diligent than 
I, who am reduced in this country to eating at each meal ten or 
twelve kinds of victuals, and to being three hours at table every 
day, two for love of your Excellency, to whom I humbly recom- 
mend myself. London, 18 Dec. 1497, your Excellency's most humble 
servant, RAIMUNDUS. 

6 Perhaps Castiglionc, near Chiavari. 



[This charter, granted by King James I. on April 10, 1606, to the oldest of 
the English colonies in America, is a typical example of the documents issued by the 
British government, authorizing "Adventurers" to establish plantations in the New 
World. The name "Virginia" was at that time applied to all that part of North 
America claimed by Great Britain.] 

/JAMES, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, 
France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. WHEREAS our 
loving and well-disposed Subjects, Sir Thomas Gates, and Sir 
George Somers, Knights, Richard Hactyitit, Prebendary of West- 
minster, and Ed ward -Maria Wing field, Thomas Han ham, and 
Ralegh Gilbert, Esqrs. William Parser, and George Pop ham, Gen- 
tlemen, and divers others of our loving Subjects, have been humble 
Suitors unto us, that We would vouchsafe unto them our Licence, to 
make Habitation, Plantation, and to deduce a Colony of sundry of 
our People into that Part of America, commonly called VIRGINIA, and 
other Parts and Territories in America, either appertaining unto us, 
or which are not now actually possessed by any Christian Prince or 
People, situate, lying, and being all along the Sea Coasts, between 
four and thirty Degrees of Northerly Latitude from the Equinoctial 
Line, and five and forty Degrees of the same Latitude, and in the 
main Land between the same four and thirty and five and forty 
Degrees, and the Islands thereunto adjacent, or within one hundred 
Miles of the Coasts thereof; 

II. And to that End, and for the more speedy Accomplishment 
of their said intended Plantation and Habitation there, are desirous 
to divide themselves into two several Colonies and Companies; 
The one consisting of certain Knights, Gentlemen, Merchants, and 
other Adventurers, of our City of London and elsewhere, which are, 
and from time to time shall be, joined unto them, which do desire 
to begin their Plantation and Habitation in some fit and convenient 
Place, between four and thirty and one and forty Degrees of the 



said Latitude, along the Coasts of Virginia and Coasts of America 
aforesaid; And the other consisting of sundry Knights, Gentlemen, 
Merchants, and other Adventurers, of our Cities of Bristol and 
Exeter, and of our Town of Plimouth, and of other Places, which 
do join themselves unto that Colony, which do desire to begin 
their Plantation and Habitation in some fit and convenient Place, 
between eight and thirty Degrees and five and forty Degrees of the 
said Latitude, all alongst the said Coast of Virginia and America, as 
that Coast lyeth: 

III. We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their 
Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the 
Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his 
Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such 
People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true 
Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels 
and Savages, living in those Parts, to human Civility, and to a 
settled and quiet Government; DO, by these our Letters Patents, 
graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well-intended 

IV. And do therefore, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, GRANT 
and agree, that the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, 
Ttichard Hactyuit, and Edward-Maria Wingfield, Adventurers of 
and for our City of London, and all such others, as are, or shall be, 
joined unto them of that Colony, shall be called the first Colony; 
And they shall and may begin their said first Plantation and Habita- 
tion, at any Place upon the said Coast of Virginia or America, where 
they shall think fit and convenient, between the said four and thirty 
and one and forty Degrees of the said Latitude; And that they shall 
have all the Lands, Woods, Soil, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, 
Mines, Minerals, Marshes, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and 
Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the said first Seat of their Planta- 
tion and Habitation by the Space of fifty Miles of English Statute 
Measure, all along the said Co'ast of Virginia and America, towards 
the West and Southwest, as the Coast lyeth, with all the Islands 
within one hundred Miles directly over against the same Sea Coast; 
And also all the Lands, Soil, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, 
Minerals, Woods, Waters, Marshes, Fishings, Commodities, and 


Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the said Place of their first Planta- 
tion and Habitation for the space of fifty like English Miles all 
alongst the said Coast of Virginia and America, towards the East 
and Northeast, or towards the North, as the Coast lyeth, together 
with all the Islands within one hundred Miles, directly over against 
the said Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, Woods, Soil, Grounds, 
Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Marshes, Waters, Fishings, 
Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the same fifty 
Miles every way on the Sea Coast, directly into the main Land by the 
Space of one hundred like English Miles; And shall and may inhabit 
and remain there; and shall and may also build and fortify within 
any the same, for their better Safeguard and Defence, according to 
their best Discretion, and the Discretion of the Council of that 
Colony; And that no other of our Subjects shall be permitted, or 
suffered, to plant or inhabit behind, or on the Backside of them, 
towards the main Land, without the Express License or Consent of 
the Council of that Colony, thereunto in Writing first had and 

V. And we do likewise, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, by these 
Presents, GRANT and agree, that the said Thomas Hanham f and 
Ralegh Gilbert, William Parser, and George Pop ham, and all 
others of the Town of Plimouth in the County of Devon, or else- 
where, which are, or shall be, joined unto them of that Colony, shall 
be called the second Colony; And that they shall and may begin 
their said Plantation and Seat of their first Abode and Habitation, 
at any Place upon the said Coast of Virginia and America, where 
they shall think fit and convenient, between eight and thirty Degrees 
of the said Latitude, and five and forty Degrees of the same Lati- 
tude; And that they shall have all the Lands, Soils, Grounds, Havens, 
Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Woods, Marshes, Waters, Fishings, 
Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever from the first Seat of 
their Plantation and Habitation by the Space of fifty like English 
Miles as is aforesaid, all alongst the said Coast of Virginia and 
America, towards the West and Southwest, or towards the South, 
as the Coast lyeth, and all the Islands within one hundred Miles, 
directly over against the said Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, 
Soils, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Woods, 


Marshes, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, what- 
soever, from the said Place of their first Plantation and Habitation 
for the Space of fifty like Miles, all alongst the said Coast of Virginia 
and America, towards the East and Northeast, or towards the North, 
as the Coast lyeth, and all the Islands also within one hundred Miles 
directly over against the same Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, 
Soils, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Woods, Mines, Minerals, 
Marshes, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, what- 
soever, from the same fifty Miles every way on the Sea Coast, directly 
into the main Land, by the Space of one hundred like English Miles; 
And shall and may inhabit and remain there; and shall and may also 
build and fortify within any the same for their better Safeguard, 
according to their best Discretion, and the Discretion of the Council 
of that Colony; And that none of our Subjects shall be permitted, 
or suffered, to plant or inhabit behind, or on the back of them, 
towards the main Land, without the express License of the Council of 
that Colony, in Writing thereunto first had and obtained. 

VI. Provided always, and our Will and Pleasure herein is, that 
the Plantation and Habitation of such of the said Colonies, as shall 
last plant themselves, as aforesaid, shall not be made within one 
hundred like English Miles of the other of them, that first began 
to make their Plantation, as aforesaid. 

VII. And we do also ordain, establish, and agree, for Us, our 
Heirs, and Successors, that each of the said Colonies shall have a 
Council, which shall govern and order all Matters and Causes, which 
shall arise, grow, or happen, to or within the same several Colonies, 
according to such Laws, Ordinances, and Instructions, as shall be, 
in that behalf, given and signed with Our Hand or Sign Manual, 
and pass under the Privy Seal of our Realm of England; Each of 
which Councils shall consist of thirteen Persons, to be ordained, 
made, and removed, from time to time, according as shall be directed, 
and comprised in the same instructions; And shall have a several 
Seal, for all Matters that shdll pass or concern the same several 
Councils; Each of which Seals shall have the King's Arms en- 
graven on the one Side thereof, and his Portraiture on the other; 
And that the Seal for the Council of the said first Colony shall have 
engraven round about, on the one side, these Words; Sigillum Regis 


Magna Britannia, Francia, & Hibernia; on the other Side this 
Inscription, round about; Pro Concilia prima Colonies Virginia. 
And the seal for the Council of the said second Colony shall also 
have engraven, round about the one Side thereof, the aforesaid 
Words; Sigillum Regis Magnce, Britannia, Francice, & Hibernia; 
and on the other Side; Pro Concilio secundce Colonies Virginia: 

VIII. And that also there shall be a Council established here in 
England, which shall, in like Manner, consist of thirteen Persons, 
to be, for that Purpose, appointed by Us, our Heirs and Successors, 
which shall be called our Council of Virginia; And shall, from time 
to time, have the superior Managing and Direction, only of and for 
all Matters, that shall or may concern the Government, as well of the 
said several Colonies, as of and for any other Part or Place, within 
the aforesaid Precincts of four and thirty and five and forty De- 
grees, abovementioned; Which Council shall, in like manner, have a 
Seal, for Matters concerning the Council of Colonies, with the like 
Arms and Portraiture, as aforesaid, with this Inscription, engraven 
round about on the one Side; Sigillum Regis Magna Britannia, 
Francia, & Hibernia; and round about the other side, Pro Concilio 
suo Virginia. 

IX. And moreover, we do GRANT and agree, for Us, our Heirs 
and Successors, that the said several Councils, of and for the said 
several Colonies, shall and lawfully may, by Virtue hereof, from 
time to time, without any Interruption of Us, our Heirs, or Suc- 
cessors, give and take Order, to dig, mine, and search for all Manner 
of Mines of Gold, Silver, and Copper, as well within any part of 
their said several Colonies, as for the said main Lands on the Back- 
side of the same Colonies; And to HAVE and enjoy the Gold, Silver, 
and Copper, to be gotten thereof, to the Use and Behoof of the 
same Colonies, and the Plantations thereof; YIELDING therefore, to 
Us, our Heirs and Successors, the fifth Part only of all the same 
Gold and Silver, and the fifteenth Part of all the same Copper, so 
to be gotten or had, as is aforesaid, without any other Manner or 
Profit or Account, to be given or yielded to Us, our Heirs, or Suc- 
cessors, for or in Respect of the same: 

X. And that they shall, or lawfully may, establish and cause to 
be made a Coin, to pass current there between the People of those 


several Colonies, for the more Ease of Traffick and Bargaining 
between and amongst them and the Natives there, of such Metal, 
and in such Manner and Form, as the said several Councils there 
shall limit and appoint. 

XL And we do likewise, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, by 
these Presents, give full Power and Authority to the said Sir Thomas 
Gates, Sir George Sowers, Richard Hactyuit, Edward-Maria Wing- 
field, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parser, and George 
Popham, and to every of them, and to the said several Companies, 
Plantations, and Colonies, that they, and every of them, shall and 
may, at all and every time and times hereafter, have, take, and lead 
in the said Voyage, and for and towards the said several Plantations 
and Colonies, and to travel thitherward, and to abide and inhabit 
there, in every the said Colonies and Plantations, such and so many 
of our Subjects, as shall willingly accompany them, or any of them, 
in the said Voyages and Plantations; With sufficient Shipping and 
Furniture of Armour, Weapons, Ordinance, Powder, Victual, and 
all other things, necessary for the said Plantations, and for their 
Use and Defence there: PROVIDED always, that none of the said Per- 
sons be such, as shall hereafter be specially restrained by Us, our 
Heirs, or Successors. 

XII. Moreover, we do, by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs, and 
Successors, GIVE AND GRANT Licence unto the said Sir Thomas Gates, 
Sir George Somers f Richard Hac^luit, Edward-Maria Wingfield, 
Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parser, and George 
Popham, and to every of the said Colonies, that they, and every of 
them, shall and may, from time to time, and at all times for ever 
hereafter, for their several Defences, encounter, expulse, repel, and 
resist, as well by Sea as by Land, by all Ways and Means whatsoever, 
all and every such Person and Persons, as without the especial 
Licence of the said several Colonies and Plantations, shall attempt 
to inhabit within the said several Precincts and Limits of the said 
several Colonies and Plantations, or any of them, or that shall 
enterprise or attempt, at any time hereafter, the Hurt, Detriment, or 
Annoyance, of the said several Colonies or Plantations* 

XIII. Giving and granting, by these Presents, unto the said Sir 
Thomas Gates, Sir George Somcrs, Richard Hactyuit, Edward- 


Maria Wingfield, and their Associates of the said first Colony, and 
unto the said Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parser, 
and George Popham, and their Associates of the said second Colony, 
and to every of them, from time to time, and at all times for ever 
hereafter, Power and Authority to take and surprise, by all Ways 
and Means whatsoever, all and every Person and Persons, with their 
Ships, Vessels, Goods and other Furniture, which shall be found 
trafficking, into any Harbour or Harbours, Creek or Creeks, or Place, 
within the Limits or Precincts of the said several Colonies and Plan- 
tations, not being of the same Colony, until such time, as they, being 
of any Realms or Dominions under our Obedience, shall pay, or 
agree to pay, to the Hands of the Treasurer of that Colony, within 
whose Limits and Precincts they shall so traffick, two and a half 
upon every Hundred, of any thing, so by them trafficked, bought, or 
sold; And being Strangers, and not Subjects under our Obeysance, 
until they shall pay five upon every Hundred, of such Wares and 
Merchandise, as they shall traffick, buy, or sell, within the Precincts 
of the said several Colonies, wherein they shall so traffick, buy, or sell, 
as aforesaid, WHICH Sums of Money, or Benefit, as aforesaid, for 
and during the Space of one and twenty Years, next ensuing the 
Date hereof, shall be wholly emploied to the Use, Benefit, and Be- 
hoof of the said several Plantations, where such Traffick shall be 
made; And after the said one and twenty Years ended, the same 
shall be taken to the Use of Us, our Heirs, and Successors, by such 
Officers and Ministers, as by Us, our Heirs, and Successors, shall be 
thereunto assigned or appointed. 

XIV. And we do further, by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs, 
and Successors, GIVE AND GRANT unto the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir 
George Somers t Richard Hacf^luit, and Edward-Maria Wingficld, 
and to their Associates of the said first Colony and Plantation, and 
to the said Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parser, and 
George Popham, and their Associates of the said second Colony and 
Plantation, that they, and every of them, by their Deputies, Ministers 
and Factors, may transport the Goods, Chattels, Armour, Munition, 
and Furniture, needful to be used by them, for their said Apparel, 
Food, Defence, or otherwise in Respect of the said Plantations, out 
of our Realms of England and Ireland, and all other our Dominions, 


from time to time, for and during the Time of seven Years, next 
ensuing the Date hereof, for the better Relief of the said several 
Colonies and Plantations, without any Custom, Subsidy, or other 
Duty, unto Us, our Heirs, or Successors, to be yielded or paid for 
the same. 

XV. Also we do, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, DECLARE, by 
these Presents, that all and every the Persons, being our Subjects, 
which shall dwell and inhabit within every or any of the said 
several Colonies and Plantations, and every of their children, which 
shall happen to be born within any of the Limits and Precincts of the 
said several Colonies and Plantations, shall HAVE and enjoy all 
Liberties, Franchises, and Immunities, within any of our other 
Dominions, to all Intents and Purposes, as if they had been abiding 
and born, within this our Realm of England, or any other of our 
said Dominions. 

XVI. Moreover, our gracious Will and Pleasure is, and we do, 
by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, declare and set 
forth, that if any Person or Persons, which shall be of any of the 
said Colonies and Plantations, or any other, which shall traffick to 
the said Colonies and Plantations, or any of them, shall, at any time 
or times hereafter, transport any Wares, Merchandises, or Com- 
modities, out of any of our Dominions, with a Pretence to land, sell, 
or otherwise dispose of the same, within any the Limits and Pre- 
cincts of any the said Colonies and Plantations, and yet neverthe- 
less, being at Sea, or after he hath landed the same within any of 
the said Colonies and Plantations, shall carry the same into any 
other Foreign Country, with a Purpose there to sell or dispose of 
the same, without the Licence of Us, our Heirs, and Successors, in 
that Behalf first had and obtained; That then, all the Goods and 
Chattels of such Person or Persons, so offending and transporting, 
together with the said Ship or Vessel, wherein such Transportation 
was made, shall be forfeited to Us, our Heirs, and Successors. 

XVII. Provided always, and our Will and Pleasure is, and we 
do hereby declare to all Christian Kings, Princes, and States, that 
if any Person or Persons, which shall hereafter be of any of the said 
several Colonies and Plantations, or any other, by his, their or any of 
their Licence and Appointment, shall, at any time or times hereafter, 


rob or spoil, by Sea or by Land, or do any Act of unjust and un- 
lawful Hostility, to any the Subjects of Us, our Heirs, or Successors, 
or any the Subjects of any King, Prince, Ruler, Governor, or State, 
being then in League or Amity with Us, our Heirs, or Successors, 
and that upon such Injury, or upon just Complaint of such Prince, 
Ruler, Governor, or State, or their Subjects, We, our Heirs, or Suc- 
cessors, shall make open Proclamation, within any of the Ports of 
our Realm of England, commodious for that Purpose, That the 
said Person or Persons, having committed any such Robbery or 
Spoil, shall, within the Term to be limited by such Proclamations 
make full Restitution or Satisfaction of all such Injuries done, so as 
the said Princes, or others, so complaining, may hold themselves 
fully satisfied and contented; And that, if the said Person or Per- 
sons, having committed such Robbery or Spoil, shall not make, or 
cause to be made, Satisfaction accordingly, within such Time so to 
be limited, That then it shall be lawful to Us, our Heirs, and Suc- 
cessors, to put the said Person or Persons, having committed such 
Robbery or Spoil, and their Procurers, Abetters, or Comforters, out of 
our Allegiance and Protection; And that it shall be lawful and free, 
for* all Princes and others, to pursue with Hostility the said Offend- 
ers, and every of them, and their and every of their Procurers, Aiders, 
Abetters, and Comforters, in that Behalf. 

XVIII. And finally, we do, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, 
GRANT and agree, to and with the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George 
Somers, Richard Hact(luit, and Edward-Maria Wingfield, and all 
others of the said first Colony, that We, our Heirs, and Successors, 
upon Petition in that Behalf to be made, shall, by Letters-patent 
under the Great Seal of England, GIVE and GRANT unto such Pet- 
sons, their Heirs, and Assigns, as the Council of that Colony, or the 
most Part of them, shall, for that Purpose nominate and assign, all 
the Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, which shall be within the 
Precincts limited for that Colony, as is aforesaid, To BE HOLDEN OF 
Us, our Heirs, and Successors, as of our Manor at East-Greenwich 
in the County of Kent, in free and common Soccage only, and not in 

XIX. And do, in like Manner, Grant and Agree, for Us, our 
Heirs, and Successors, to and with the said Thomas Hanham. 


Ralegh Gilbert, William Parser, and George Popham, and all others 
of the said second Colony, That We, our Heirs, and Successors, 
upon Petition in that Behalf to be made, shall, by Letters-patent 
under the Great Seal of England, GIVE and GRANT unto such Per- 
sons, their Heirs, and Assigns, as the Council of that Colony, or the 
most Part of them, shall, for that Purpose, nominate and assign, 
all the Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, which shall be within 
the Precincts limited for that Colony, as is aforesaid To BE HOLDEN 
OF Us, our Heirs, and Successors, as of our Manour of East-Green- 
wich in the County of Kent, in free and common Soccage only, 
and not in Capite. 

XX. All which Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, so to be 
passed by the said several Letters-patent, shall be sufficient Assurance 
from the said Patentees, so distributed and divided amongst the 
Undertakers for the Plantation of the said several Colonies, and 
such as shall make their Plantations in either of the said several 
Colonies, ii) such Manner and Form, and for such Estates, as shall 
be ordered and set down by the Council of the said Colony, or the 
most Part of them, respectively, within which the same Lands, 
Tenements, and Hereditaments shall lye or be; Although express 
Mention of the true yearly Value or Certainty of the Premises, or 
any of them, or of any other Gifts or Grants, by Us or any of our 
Progenitors or Predecessors, to the aforesaid Sir Thomas Gates, 
Knt. Sir George Somers, Knt. Richard Hacfyluit, Edward-Maria 
Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parser, and 
George Pop ham, or any of them, heretofore made, in these Presents, 
is not made; Or any Statute, Act, Ordinance, or Provision, Proclama- 
tion, or Restraint, to the contrary hereof had, made, ordained, or 
any other Thing, Cause, or Matter whatsoever, in any wise not- 
withstanding. In Witness whereof we have caused these our Letters 
to be made Patents; Witness Ourself at Westminster, the tenth Day 
of April, in the fourth Year of our Reign of England, France, and 
Ireland, and of Scotland the nine and thirtieth. 



[From the History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford (1590-1657), 
second governor of Plymouth.] 

IN the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, 
the loyal subjects of our dread sovereigne Lord, King James, by 
the grace of God, of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland king, 
defender of the faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God, 
and advancement of the Christian faith, and honour of our king 
and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northerne parts 
of Virginia, doe, by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the 
presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our- 
selves together into a civill body politick, for our better ordering and 
preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue 
hereof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just and equall laws, 
ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as 
shall be thought most meete and convenient for the generall good 
of the Colonie unto which we promise all due submission and 
obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our 
names at Cap-Codd the n. of November, in the year of the raigne of 
our sovereigne lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland, 
the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fiftie-fourth. Anno. Dom. 1620. 




[These "Orders'* were adopted by a popular convention of the three towns of 
Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield, on January 14, 1639. They form, according to 
historians, "the first written constitution, in the modern sense of the term, as a 
permanent limitation on governmental power, known in history, and certainly the 
first American constitution of government to embody the democratic idea."] 

FORASMUCH as it hath pleased the Almighty God by the 
wise disposition of his diuyne prouidence so to Order and 
dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of 
Windsor, Harteford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and 
dwelling in and vppon the River of Conectecotte and the Lands 
thereunto adioyneing; And well knowing where a people are 
gathered togather the word of God requires that to mayntayne the 
peace and vnion of such a people there should be an orderly and 
decent Gouerment established according to God, to order and 
dispose of the afTayres of the people at all seasons as occation shall 
require; doe therefore assotiate and conioyne our selues to be as one 
Publike State or Comonwelth; and doe, for our selues and our Suc- 
cessors and such as shall be adioyned to vs att any tyme hereafter, 
enter into Combination and Confederation togather, to mayntayne 
and presearue the liberty and purity of the gospell of our Lord 
Jesus which we now professe, as also the disciplyne of the Churches, 
which according to the truth of the said gospell is now practised 
amongst vs; As also in our Ciuell Affaires to be guided and 
gouerned according to such Lawes, Rules, Orders and decrees as 
shall be made, ordered & decreed, as followeth : 

i. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that there shall be yerely 
two generall Assemblies or Courts, the on the second thursday in 
Aprill, the other the second thursday in September, following; the 
first shall be called the Courte of Election, wherein shall be yerely 



Chosen from tyme to tyme soe many Magestrats and other publike 
Officers as shall be found requisitte: Whereof one to be chosen 
Gouernour ior the yeare ensueing and vntill another be chosen, 
and noe other Magestrate to be chosen for more than one yeare; 
prouided allwayes there be sixe chosen besids the Gouernour; which 
being chosen and sworne according to an Oath recorded for that 
purpose shall haue power to administer iustice according to the 
Lawes here established, and for want thereof according to the rule 
of the word of God; which choise shall be made by all that are ad- 
mitted freemen and haue taken the Oath of Fidellity, and doe co- 
habitte within this Jurisdiction, (hauing beene admitted Inhabitants 
by the maior part of the Towne wherein they liue,) or the mayor 
parte of such as shall be then present. 

2. It is Ordered, sentensed and decreed, that the Election of the 
aforesaid Magestrats shall be on this manner: euery person present 
and quallified for choyse shall bring in (to the persons deputed to 
receaue them) one single paper with the name of him written in yt 
whom he desires to haue Gouernour, and he that hath the greatest 
number of papers shall be Gouernor for that yeare. And the rest 
of the Magestrats or publike Officers to be chosen in this manner: 
The Secretary for the tyme being shall first read the names of all 
that are to be put to choise and then shall seuerally nominate them 
distinctly, and euery one that would haue the person nominated to 
be chosen shall bring in one single paper written vppon, and he that 
would not haue him chosen shall bring in a blanker and euery one 
that hath more written papers then blanks shall be a Magistrat for 
that yeare; which papers shall be receaued and told by one or more 
that shall be then chosen by the court and sworne to be faythfull 
therein; but in case there should not be sixe chosen as aforesaid, 
besids the Gouernor, out of those which are nominated, then he or 
they which haue the most written papers shall be a Magestrate or i 
Magestrats for the ensueing yeare, to make vp the foresaid number. 

3. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that the Secretary shall 
not nominate any person, nor shall any person be chosen newly into 
the Magestracy which was not propownded in some Generall Courte 
before, to be nominated the next Election; and to that end yt shall 
be lawfull for ech of the Townes aforesaid by their deputyes to 


nominate any two whom they conceaue fitte to be put to election; 
and the Courte may ad so many more as they iudge requisite 

4. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed that noe person be chosen 
Gouernor aboue once in two yeares, and that the Gouernor be always 
a member of some approved congregation, and formerly of the 
Magestracy within this Jurisdiction; and all the Magestrats Freemen 
of this Comonwelth: and that no Magestrate or other publike officer 
shall execute any parte of his or their Office before they are seuerally 
sworne, which shall be done in the face of the Courte if they be 
present, and in case of absence by some deputed for that purpose. 

5. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that to the aforesaid 
Courte of Election the seuerall Townes shall send their deputyes, 
and when the Elections* are ended they may proceed in any publike 
searuice as at other Courts. Also the other Generall Courte in Sep- 
tember shall be for makeing of lawes, and any other publike occation, 
which conserns the good of the Comonwelth. 

6. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that the Gouernor shall, 
ether by himselfe or by the secretary, send out sumons to the Con- 
stables of euery Towne for the cauleing of these two standing 
Courts, on month at lest before their seuerall tymes: And also if the 
Gouernor and the gretest parte of the Magestrats see cause vppon any 
spetiall occation to call a generall Courte, they may giue order to 
the secretary soe to doe within fowerteene dayes warneing; and if 
vrgent necessity so require, vppon a shorter notice, glueing sufficient 
grownds for yt to the deputyes when they meete, or els be questioned 
for the same; And if the Gouernor and Mayor parte of Magestrats 
shall ether neglect or refuse to call the two Generall standing Courts 
or ether of them, as also at other tymes when the occations of the 
Comonwelth require, the Freemen thereof, or the Mayor parte of 
them, shall petition to them soe to doe: if then yt be ether denyed 
or neglected the said Freemen or the Mayor parte of them shall 
haue power to giue order to the Constables of the seuerall Townes to 
doe the same, and so may meete togather, and chuse to themselues 
a Moderator, and may proceed to do any Acte of power, which any 
Other Generall Courte may. 

7. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed that after there are 
warrants giuen out for any of the said Generall Courts, the Con- 


Stable or Constables of ech Towne shall forthwith give notice 
distinctly to the inhabitants of the same, in some Publike Assembly 
or by goeing or sending from howse to howse, that at a place and 
tyme by him or them lymited and sett, they meet and assemble 
them selues togather to elect and chuse certen deputyes to be att 
the Generall Courte then following to agitate the afayres of the 
comonwelth; which said Deputyes shall be chosen by all that are 
admitted Inhabitants in the seuerall Townes and haue taken the 
oath of fidellity; prouided that non be chosen a Deputy for any 
Generall Courte which is not a Freeman of this Comonwelth. 

The foresaid deputyes shall be chosen in manner following: euery 
person that is present and quallified as before expressed, shall bring 
the names of such, written in seuerall papers, as they desire to haue 
chosen for that Imployment, and these 3 or 4, more or lesse, being 
the number agreed on to be chosen for that tyme, that haue great- 
est number of papers written for them shall be deputyes for that 
Courte; whose names shall be endorsed on the backe side of the 
warrant and returned into the Courte, with the Constable or 
Constables hand vnto the spme. 

8. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that Wyndsor, Hartford 
and Wethersfield shall haue power, ech Towne, to send fower of 
their freemen as deputyes to euery Generall Courte; and whatsoeuer 
other Townes shall be hereafter added to this Jurisdiction, they shall 
send so many deputyes as the Courte shall judge meete, a resonable 
proportion to the number of Freemen that are in the said Townes 
being to be attended therein; which deputyes shall have the power 
of the whole Towne to giue their voats and alowance to all such 
lawes and orders as may be for the publike good, and unto which 
the said Townes are to be bownd. 

9. It is ordered and decreed, that the deputyes thus chosen shall 
haue power and liberty to appoynt a tyme and a place of meeting 
togather before any Generall Courte to aduise and consult of all 
such things as may concerne the good of the publike, as also to 
examine their owne Elections, whether according to the order, and 
if they or the gretest parte of them find any election to be illegall 
they may seclud such for present from their meeting, and returne 
the same and their resons to the Courte; and if yt proue true, the 


Courte may fyne the parte or partyes so intruding and the Towne, 
if they see cause, and giue out a warrant to goe to a newe election 
in a legall way, either in parte or in whole. Also the said deputyes 
shall haue power to fyne any that shall be disorderly at their meet- 
ings, or for not coming in due tyme or place according to appoynt- 
ment; and they may returne the said fynes into the Courte if yt 
be refused to be paid, and the tresurer to take notice of yt, and to 
estreete or levy the same as he doth other fynes. 

10. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that euery Generall 
Courte, except such as through neglecte of the Gouernor and the 
greatest parte of Magestrats the Freemen themselves doe call, shall 
consist of the Gouernor, or some one chosen to moderate the Court, 
and 4 other Magestrats at lest, with the mayor part of the deputyes 
of the seuerall Townes legally chosen; and in case the Freemen or 
mayor parte of them, through neglect or refusall of the Gouernor 
and mayor parte of the magestrats, shall call a Courte, yt shall con- 
sist of the mayor parte of Freemen that are present or their deputyes, 
with a Moderator chosen by them: In which said Generall Courts 
shall consist the supreme power of the Comonwelth, and they only 
shall haue power to make laws or repeale them, to graunt leuyes, 
to admitt of Freemen, dispose of lands vndisposed of, to seuerall 
Townes or persons, and also shall haue power to call ether Courte 
or Magestrate or any other person whatsoeuer into question for any 
misdemeanour, and may for just causes displace or deale otherwise 
according to the nature of the offence; and also may deale in any 
other matter that concerns the good of this comon welth, excepte 
election of Magestrats, which shall be done by the whole boddy of 

In which Courte the Gouernor or Moderator shall haue power 
to order the Courte to giue liberty of spech, and silence vnceasonable 
and disorderly speakeings, to put all things to voate, and in case the 
vote be equall to haue the casting voice. But non of these Courts 
shall be adiorned or dissolued without the consent of the maior 
parte of the Court. 

11. It is ordered, sentenced and decreed, that when any Generall 
Courte vppon the occations of the Comonwelth haue agreed vppon 
any sume or somes of mony to be leuyed vppon the seuerall Townes 


within this Jurisdiction, that a Comittee be chosen to sett out and 
appoynt what shall be the proportion of euery Towne to pay of the 
said leuy, provided the Comittees be made vp of an equall number 
out of each Towne. 

I4th January, I638, 1 the n Orders abouesaid are voted. 


I, JFJ.WI. being now chosen to be Gouernor within this Jurisdiction, 
for the yeare ensueing, and vntil a new be chosen, doe sweare by 
the greate and dreadfull name of the everliueing God, to promote 
the publicke good and peace of the same, according to the best of my 
skill; as also will mayntayne all lawfull priuiledges of this Comon- 
wealth; as also that all wholsome lawes that are or shall be made by 
lawfull authority here established, be duly executed; and will further 
the execution of Justice according to the rule of Gods w6rd; so 
helpe me God, in the name of the Lo: Jesus Christ. 


1,^.80. being chosen a Magestrate within this Jurisdiction for the 
yeare ensueing, doe sweare by the great and dreadfull name of the 
euerliueing God, to promote the publike good and peace of the 
same, according to the best of my skill, and that I will mayntayne 
all the lawfull priuiledges thereof, according to my vnderstanding, as 
also assist in the execution of all such wholesome lawes as are made 
or shall be made by lawfull authority heare established, and will 
further the execution of Justice for the tyme aforesaid according 
to the righteous rule of Gods word ; so helpe me God, etc. 

1 1638, old style; 1639, new style. 



(The Massachusetts "Body of Liberties," the first code of laws established in New 
England, was compiled by Nathaniel Ward (c. 1578-1652) a leading English Puritan 
minister, who had been trained as a lawyer. He came to the colony in 1634, and was 
for a time pastor at Ipswich. The "Liberties" were established by the Massachusetts 
General Court in December, 1641.] 


THE free fruition of such liberties, Immunities, and prive- 
ledges as humanitie, Civilitie, and Christianitie call for as 
due to every man in his place and proportion, without im- 
peachment, and infringement, hath ever bene and ever will be the 
tranquillitie and Stabilitie of Churches and Commonwealths. And 
the deniall or deprivall thereof, the disturbance if not the ruine of 

We hould it therefore our dutie and safetie whilst we are about 
the further establishing of this Government to collect and expresse 
all such freedomes as for present we foresee may concerne us, and 
our posteritie after us, And to ratify them with our sollemne 

Wee doe therefore this day religiously and unanimously decree 
and confirme these following Rites, liberties, and priveledges con- 
cerneing our Churches, and Civill State to be respectively, impartial- 
lie, and inviolably enjoyed and observed throughout our Jurisdiction 
for ever. 

i. No mans life shall be taken away, no mans honour or good 
name shall be stayned, no mans person shall be arested, restrayned, 
banished, dismembred, nor any wayes punished, no man shall be 
deprived of his wife or children, no mans goods or estaite shall be 
taken away from him, nor any way indammaged under colour of 
law or Countenance of Authoritie, unlesse it be by vertue or equitie 



of some expresse law of the Country waranting the same, established 
by a generall Court and sufficiently published, or in case of the defect 
of a law in any partecular case by the word of God. And in Capitall 
cases, or in cases concerning dismembring or banishment according 
to that word to be judged by the Generall Court. 

2. Every person within this Jurisdiction, whether Inhabitant or 
forreiner, shall enjoy the same justice and law, that is generall for 
the plantation, which we constitute and execute one towards another 
without partialitie or delay. 

3. No man shall be urged to take any oath or subscribe any 
articles, covenants or remonstrance, of a publique and Civill nature, 
but such as the Generall Court hath considered, allowed, and re- 

4. No man shall be punished for not appearing at or before any 
Civill Assembly, Court, Councell, Magistrate, or Officer, nor for the 
omission of any office or service, if he shall be necessarily hindred by 
any apparent Act or providence of God, which he could neither 
foresee nor avoid. Provided that this law shall not prejudice any 
person of his just cost or damage, in any civill action. 

5. No man shall be compelled to any publique worke or service 
unlesse the presse be grounded upon some act of the generall Courtf 
and have reasonable allowance therefore. 

6. No man shall be pressed in person to any office, worke, warres, 
or other publique service, that is necessarily and suffitiently exempted 
by any naturall or personall impediment, as by want of yeares, 
greatnes of age, defect of minde, fayling of sences, or impotencie of 

7. No man shall be compelled to goe out of the limits of this 
plantation upon any offensive warres which this Comonwealth or 
any of our friends or confederats shall volentarily undertake. But 
onely upon such vindictive and defensive warres in our owne behalfe 
or the behalfe of our freinds and confederats as shall be enterprized 
by the Counsell and consent of a Court generall, or by authority 
derived from the same. 

8. No mans Cattel or goods of what kinde soever shall be pressed 
or taken for any publique use or service, unlesse it be by warrant 
grounded upon some act of the generall Court, nor without such 


reasonable prices and hire as the ordinarie rates of the Countrie do 
afford. And if his Cattel or goods shall perish or suffer damage in 
such service, the owner shall be suffitiently recompenced. 

9. No monopolies shall be granted or allowed amongst us, but of 
such new Inventions that are profitable to the Countrie, and that for 
a short time. 

10. All our lands and heritages shall be free from all fines and 
licenses upon Alienations, and from all hariotts, wardships, Liveries, 
Primer-seisins, yeare day and wast, Escheates, and forfeitures, upon 
the deaths of parents or Ancestors, be they naturall, casuall or 

11. All persons which are of the age of 21 yeares, and of right 
understanding and meamories, whether excommunicate or con- 
demned shall have full power and libertie to make there wills and 
testaments, and other lawfull alienations of theire lands and estates. 

12. Every man whether Inhabitant or fforreiner, free or not free 
shall have libertie to come to any publique Court, Councel, or Towne 
meeting, and either by speech or writeing to move any lawfull, 
seasonable, and materiall question, or to present any necessary 
motion, complaint, petition, Bill or information, whereof that meet- 
ing hath proper cognizance, so it be done in convenient time, due 
order, and respective manner. 

13. No man shall be rated here for any estaite or revenue he 
hath in England, or in any forreine partes till it be transported 

14. Any Conveyance or Alienation of land or other estaite what 
so ever, made by any woman that is married, any childe under age, 
Ideott or distracted person, shall be good if it be passed and ratified 
by the consent of a generall Court. 

15. All Covenous or fraudulent Alienations or Conveyances of 
lands, tenements, or any heriditaments, shall be of no validitie to 
defeate any man from due debts or legacies, or from any just title, 
clame or possession, of that which is so fraudulently conveyed. 

16. Every Inhabitant that is an howse holder shall have free 
fishing and fowling in any great ponds and Bayes, Coves and Rivers, 
so farre as the sea ebbes and flowes within the presincts of the 
towne where they dwell, unlesse the free men of the same Towne 


or the Generall Court have otherwise appropriated them, provided 
that this shall not be extended to give leave to any man to come 
upon others proprietie without there leave. 

17. Every man of or within this Jurisdiction shall have free 
libertie, notwithstanding any Civill power to remove both himselfe, 
and his familie at their pleasure out of the same, provided there be 
no legall impediment to the contrarie. 

Rites, Rules, and Liberties concerning Juditiall proceedings 

1 8. No mans person shall be restrained or imprisoned by any 
authority whatsoever, before the law hath sentenced him thereto, 
if he can put in sufficient securitie, bayle or mainprise, for his appear- 
ance, and good behaviour in the meane time, unlesse it be in Crimes 
Capitall, and Contempts in open Court, and in such cases where 
some expresse act of Court doth allow it. 

19. If in a general Court any miscariage shall be amongst the 
Assistants when they are by themselves that may deserve an Ad- 
monition or fine under 20 sh. it shall be examined and sentenced 
amongst themselves, If amongst the Deputies when they are by 
themselves, it shall be examined and sentenced amongst themselves, 
If it be when the whole Court is togeather, it shall be judged by the 
whole Court, and not severallie as before. 

20. If any which are to sit as Judges in any other Court shall 
demeane themselves offensively in the Court, The rest of the Judges 
present shall have power to censure him for it, if the cause be of a 
high nature it shall be presented to and censured at the next superior 

21. In all cases where the first summons are not served six dayes 
before the Court, and the cause breifly specified in the warrant, 
where appearance is to be made by the partie summoned, it shall 
be at his libertie whether he will appeare or no, except all cases that 
are to be handled in Courts suddainly called, upon extraordinary 
occasions, In all cases where there appeares present and urgent cause 
any assistant or officer apointed shal have power to make our attaich- 
ments for the first summons. 

22. No man in any suit or action against an other shall falsely 
pretend great debts or damages to vex his adversary, if it shall 


appeare any doth so, The Court shall have power to set a reasonable 
fine on his head. 

23. No man shall be adjudged to pay for detaining any debt from 
any Crediter above eight pounds in the hundred for one yeare, And 
not above that rate proportionable for all somes what so ever, neither 
shall this be a coulour or countenance to allow any usurie amongst 
us contrarie to the law of god. 

24. In all Trespasses or damages done to any man or men, If it 
can be proved to be done by the meere default of him or them to 
whome the trespasse is done, It shall be judged no trespasse, nor any 
damage given for it. 

25. No Summons pleading Judgement, or any kinde of proceed- 
ing in Court or course of Justice shall be abated, arested or reversed 
upon any kinde of cercumstantiail errors or mistakes, If the person 
and cause be rightly understood and intended by the Court. 

26. Every man that findeth himselfe unfit to plead his owne cause 
in any Coun shall have Libertie to imploy any man against whom 
the Court doth not except, to helpe him, Provided he give him noe 
fee or reward for his paines. This shall not exempt the partie him 
selfe from Answering such Questions in person as the Court shall 
thinke meete to demand of him. 

27. If any plantife shall give into any Court a declaration of his 
cause in writeing, The defendant shall also have libertie and time to 
give in his answer in writeing, And so in all further proceedings 
betwene partie and partie, So it doth not further hinder the dispach 
of Justice then the Court shall be willing unto. 

28. The plantife in all Actions brought in any Court shall have 
libertie to withdraw his Action, or to be nonsuited before the Jurie 
hath given in their verdict, in which case he shall alwaies pay full 
cost and chardges to the defendant, and may afterwards renew his 
suite at an other Court if he please. 

29. In all actions at law it shall be the libertie of the plantife and 
defendant by mutual consent to choose whether they will be tryed 
by the Bensh or by a Jurie, unlesse it be where the law upon just 
reason hath otherwise determined. The like libertie shall be granted 
to all persons in Criminall cases. 

30. It shall be in the libertie both of plantife and defendant, and 


likewise every delinquent (to be judged by a Jurie) to challenge 
any of the Jurors. And if his challenge be found just and reasonable 
by the Bench, or the rest of the Jurie, as the challenger shall choose 
it shall be allowed him, and tales de cercumstantibus impaneled in 
their room. 

31. In all cases where evidences is so obscure or defective that the 
Jurie cannot clearely and safely give a positive verdict, whether it be 
a grand or petit Jurie, It shall have libertie to give a non Liquit, or a 
spetiall verdict, in which last, that is in a spetiall verdict, the Judge- 
ment of the cause shall be left to the Court, And all Jurors shall have 
libertie in matters of fact if they cannot finde the maine issue, yet 
to finde and present in their verdict so much as they can, If the 
Bench and Jurors shall so suffer at any time about their verdict that 
either of them cannot proceede with peace of conscience the case 
shall be referred to the Generall Court, who shall take the question 
from both and determine it. 

32. Every man shall have libertie to replevy his Cattell or goods 
impounded, distreined, seised, or extended, unlesse it be upon exe- 
cution after Judgement, and in paiment of fines. Provided he puts 
in good securitie to prosecute his replevin, And to satisfie such de- 
mands as his Adversary shall recover against him in Law. 

33. No mans person shall be arrested, or imprisoned upon execu- 
tion or judgment for any debt or fine, If the law can finde competent 
meanes of satisfaction otherwise from his estaite, and if not his per- 
son may be arrested and imprisoned where he shall be kept at his 
owne charge, not the plantife's till satisfaction be made, unlesse the 
Court that had cognizance of the cause or some superior Court 
shall otherwise provide. 

34. If any man shall be proved and Judged a common Barrator 
vexing others with unjust frequent and endlesse suites, It shall be 
in the power of Courts both to denie him the benefit of the law, 
and to punish him for his Barratry. 

35. No mans corne nor hay that is in the feild or upon the Cart, 
nor his garden stuffe, nor any thing subject to present decay, shall be 
taken in any distresse, unles he that takes it doth presently bestow 
it where it may not be imbesled nor suffer spoile or decay, or give 
securitie to satisfie the worth thereof if it come to any harme. 


36. It shall be in the libertie of every man cast condemned or 
sentenced in any cause in any Inferior Court, to make their appeale 
to the Court of Assistants, provided they tender their appeale and 
put in securitie to prosecute it, before the Court be ended wherein 
they were condemned, And within six dayes next ensuing put in 
good securitie before some Assistant to satisfie what his Adversarie 
shall recover against him; And if the cause be of a Criminall nature 
for his good behaviour, and appearance, And everie man shall have 
libertie to complaine to the Generall Court of any Injustice done 
him in any Court of Assistants or other. 

37. In all cases where it appeares to the Court that the plantife 
hath wilingly and witingly done wronge to the defendant in com- 
mencing and prosecuting an action or complaint against him, They 
shall have power to impose upon him a proportionable fine to the 
use of the defendant or accused person, for his false complaint or 

38. Everie'man shall have libertie to Record in the publique Rolles 
of any Court any Testimony given upon oath in the same Court, or 
before two Assistants, or any deede or evidence legally confirmed 
there to remaine in perpetuam rei memoriam, that is for perpetuall 
memoriall or evidence upon occasion. 

39. In all actions both real and personall betweene partie and 
partie, the Court shall have power to respite execution for a conven- 
ient time, when in their prudence they see just cause so to doe. 

40. No conveyance, Deede, or promise whatsoever shall be of 
validitie, If it be gotten by Illegal violence, imprisonment, threaten- 
ing, or any kinde of forcible compulsion called Durcs. 

41. Everie man that is to Answere for any criminall cause, whether 
he be in prison or under bayle, his cause shall be heard and deter- 
mined at the next Court that hath proper Cognizance thereof, And 
may be done without prejudice of Justice. 

42. No man shall be twise sentenced by Civill Justice for one and 
the same Crime, offence, or Trespasse. 

43. No man shall be beaten with above 40 stripes, nor shall any 
true gentleman, nor any man equall to a gentleman be punished with 
whipping, unles his crime be very shamefull, and his course of life 
vitious and profligate. 


44. No man condemned to dye shall be put to death within fower 
dayes next after his condemnation, unles the Court see spetiall cause 
to the contrary, or in case of martiall law, nor shall the body of any 
man so put to death be unburied 12 howers unlesse it be in case of 

45. No man shall be forced by Torture to confesse any Crime 
against himselfe nor any other unlesse it be in some Capitall case, 
where he is first fullie convicted by cleare and suffitient evidence to 
be guilty, After which if the cause be of that nature, That it is very 
apparent there be other conspiratours, or confederates with him, 
Then he may be tortured, yet not with such Tortures as be Barbar- 
ous and inhumane. 

46. For bodilie punishments we allow amongst us none that are 
inhumane Barbarous or cruel. 

47. No man shall be put to death without the testimony of two 
or three witnesses or that which is equivalent thereunto. 

48. Every Inhabitant of the Countrie shall have free libertie to 
search and veewe any Rooles, Records, or Regesters of any Court or 
office except the Councell, And to have a transcript or exemplifica- 
tion thereof written examined, and signed by the hand of the officer 
of the office paying the appointed fees therefore. 

49. No free man shall be compelled to serve upon Juries above 
two Courts in a yeare, except grand Jurie men, who shall hould two 
Courts together at the least. 

50. All Jurors shall be chosen continuallie by the freemen of the 
Towne where they dwell. 

51. All Associates selected at any time to Assist the Assistants in 
Inferior Courts, shall be nominated by the Townes belonging to that 
Court, by orderly agreement amonge themselves. 

52. Children, Idiots, Distracted persons, and all that are strangers, 
or new comers to our plantation, shall have such allowances and 
dispensations in any cause whether Criminal or other as religion 
and reason require. 

53. The age of discretion for passing away of lands or such kinde 
of herediments, or for giveing, of votes, verdicts or Sentence in any 
Civill Courts or causes, shall be one and twentie yeares. 

54. Whensoever any thing is to be put to vote, any sentence to be 


pronounced, or any other matter to be proposed, or read in any Court 
of Assembly, If the president or moderator thereof shall refuse to 
performe it, the Major parte of the members of that Court or Assem- 
bly shall have power to appoint any other meete man of them to do 
it, And if there be just cause to punish him that should and would 

55. In all suites or Actions in any Court, the plaintife shall have 
libertie to make all the titles and claims to that he sues for he can. 
And the Defendant shall have libertie to plead all the pleas he can 
in answere to them, and the Court shall judge according to the intire 
evidence of all. 

56. If any man shall behave himselfe offensively at any Towne 
meeting, the rest of the freemen then present, shall have power to 
sentence him for his offence. So be it the mulct or penaltie exceede 
not twentie shilings. 

57. Whensoever any person shall come to any very suddaine un- 
timely and unnatursll death, Some assistant, or the Constables of 
that Towne shall forthwith sumon a Jury of twelve free men to 
inquire of the cause and manner of their death, and shall present a 
true verdict thereof to some neere Assistant, or the next Court to be 
helde for that Towne upon their oath. 

Liberties more feculiarlie concerning the free men 

58. Civill Authoritie hath power and libertie to see the peace, 
ordinances and Rules of Christ observed in every church according 
to his word, so it be done in a Civill and not in an Ecclesiastical way. 

59. Civill Authoritie hath power and libertie to deale with any 
Church member in a way of Civill Justice, notwithstanding any 
Church relation, office or interest. 

60. No church censure shall degrade or depose any man from 
any Civill dignitie, office, or Authoritie he shall have in the Com- 

61. No Magestrate, Juror, Officer, or other man shall be bound to 
informe present or reveale any private crim or offence, wherein there 
is no perill or danger to this plantation or any member thereof, when 
any necessarie tye of conscience binds him to secresie grounded upon 
the word of god, unlesse it be in case of testimony lawfully required. 


62. Any Shire or Towne shall have libertie to choose their Depu- 
ties whom and where they please for the Generall Court. So be it 
they be free men, and have taken there oath of fealtie, and Inhabit- 
ing in this Jurisdiction. 

63. No Governor, Deputy Governor, Assistant, Associate, or 
grand Jury man at any Court, nor any Deputie for the Generall 
Court, shall at any time beare his owne chardges at any Court, but 
their necessary expences shall be defrayed either by the Towne or 
Shire on whose service they are, or by the Country in generall. 

64. Everie Action betweene partie and partie, and proceedings 
against delinquents in Criminall causes shall be briefly and des- 
tinctly entered on the Rolles of every Court by the Recorder thereof. 
That such actions be not afterwards brought againe to the vexation 
of any man. 

65. No custome or prescription shall ever pervaile amongst us in 
any morall cause, our meaneing is maintaine anythinge that can be 
proved to be morrallie sinfull by the word of god. 

66. The Freemen of every Towneship shall have power to make 
such by laws and constitutions as may concerne the wellfare of their 
Towne, provided they be not of a Criminall, but onely of a pruden- 
tial nature, And that their penalties exceede not 20 sh. for one offence. 
And that they be not repugnant to the publique laws and orders of 
the Countrie. And if any Inhabitant shall neglect or refuse to observe 
them, they shall have power to levy the appointed penalties by 

67. It is the constant libertie of the free men of this plantation 
to choose yearly at the Court of Election out of the freemen all the 
General officers of this Jurisdiction. If they please to dischardge them 
at the day of Election by way of vote. They may do it without 
shewing cause. But if at any other generall Court, we hould it due 
justice, that the reasons thereof be alleadgcd and proved. By Generall 
officers we meane, our Governor, Deputy Governor, Assistants, 
Treasurer, Generall of our warres. And our Admirall at Sea, and 
such as arc or hereafter may be of the like generall nature. 

68. It is the libertie of the freemen to choose such deputies for 
the Generall Court out of themselves, either in their owne Towne 
or elsewhere as they judge fitest. And because we cannot foresee 


what varietie and weight of occasions may fall into future considera- 
tion, And what counsells we may stand in neede of, we decree. That 
the Deputies (to attend the Generall Court in the behalfe of the 
Countrie) shall not any time be stated or inacted, but from Court to 
Court) or at the most but for one yeare, that the Countrie may have 
an Annuall libertie to do in that case what is most behoofefull for 
the best welf aire thereof. 

69. No Generall Court shall be desolved or adjourned without 
the consent of the Major parte thereof. 

70. All Freemen called to give any advise, vote, verdict, or sen- 
tence in any Court, Counsell, or Civill Assembly, shall have full free- 
dome to doe it according to their true judgements and Consciences, 
So it be done orderly and inofensively for the manner. 

71. The Governor shall have a casting voice whensoever an Equi 
vote shall fall out in the Court of Assistants, or generall assembly, 
So shall the presedent or moderator have in all Civill Courts or 

72. The Governor and Deputy Governor Joyntly consenting or 
any three Assistants concurring in consent shall have power out of 
Court to reprive a condemned malefactour, till the next quarter or 
generall Court. The generall Court onely shall have power to pardon 
a condemned malefactor. 

73. The Generall Court hath libertie and Authorise to send out 
any member of this Comanwealth of what qualitie, condition or 
office whatsoever into forreine parts about any publique message or 
Negotiation. Provided the partie sent be acquainted with the aflaire 
he goeth about, and be willing to undertake the service. 

74. The freemen of every Towne or Towneship, shall have full 
power to choose yearly or for lesse time out of themselves a conven- 
ient number of fitt men to order the planting or prudentiall occa- 
sions of that Towne, according to Instructions given them in write- 
ing, Provided nothing be done by them contrary to the publique laws 
and orders of the Coimtrie, provided also the number of such select 
persons be not above nine. 

75. It is and shall be the 'libertie of any member or members of 
any Court Councell or Civill Assembly in cases of makeing or exe- 
cuting any order or law, that properlie concerne religion, or any 


cause capital!, or warres, or Subscription to any publique Articles or 
Remonstrance, in case they cannot in Judgement and conscience 
consent to that way the Major vote or suffrage goes, to make their 
contra Remonstrance or protestation in speech or writeing, and upon 
request to have their dissent recorded in the Rolles of that Court. 
So it be done Christianlie and respectively tor the manner. And their 
dissent onely be entered without the reasons thereof, for the avoiding 
of tediousnes. 

76. Whensoever any Jurie of trialls or Jurours are not cleare in 
their Judgments or consciences conserneing any cause wherein they 
are to give their verdict, They shall have libertie in open Court to 
advise with any man they thinke fitt to resolve or direct them, before 
they give in their verdict. 

77. In all cases wherein any freeman is to give his vote, be it in 
point of Election, makeing constitutions and orders or passing sen- 
tence in any case of Judicature or the like, if he cannot see reason to 
give it positively one way or an other, he shall have libertie to be 
silent, and not pressed to a determined vote. 

78. The Generall or publique Treasure or any parte thereof shall 
never be exspended but by the appointment of a Generall Court, nor 
any Shire Treasure, but by the appointment of the freemen therof, 
nor any Towne Treasurie but by the freemen of that Township. 

Liberties of Women 

79. If any man at his death shall not leave his wife a competent 
portion of his estaite, upon just complaint made to the Generall 
Court she shall be relieved. 

80. Evene marryed woeman shall be free from bodilie correction 
or stripes by her husband, unlesse it be in his owne defence upon her 
assalt. If there be any just cause of correction complaint shall be 
made to Authoritie assembled in some Court, from which onely she 
shall receive it. 

Liberties of 

81. When parents dye intestate, 
doble portion of his whole estate 
erall Court upon just cause alleadg 


82. When parents dye intestate haveing noe heires males of their 
bodies their Daughters shall inherit as Copartners, unles the Gen- 
erall Court upon just reason shall judge otherwise. 

83. If any parents shall wilfullie and unreasonably deny any 
childe timely or convenient manage, or shall exercise any unnaturall 
severitie towards them, such children shall have free libertie to com- 
plaine to Authentic for redresse. 

84. No Orphan dureing their minoritie which was not committed 
to tuition or service by the parents in their life time, shall afterwards 
be absolutely disposed of by any kindred, freind, Executor, Towne- 
ship, or Church, nor by themselves without the consent of some 
Court, wherein two Assistants at least shall be present. 

Liberties of Servants 

85. If any servants shall flee from the Tiranny and crueltie of 
their masters to the howse of any freeman of the same Towne, they 
shall be there protected and susteyned till due order be taken for 
their relife. Provided due notice thereof be speedily given to their 
maisters from whom they fled. And the next Assistant or Constable 
where the partie flying is harboured. 

86. No servant shall be put of for above a yeare to any other 
neither in the life time of their maister nor after their death by their 
Executors or Administrators unlesse it be by consent of Authoritie 
assembled in some Court or two Assistants. 

87. If any man smite out the eye or tooth of his man-servant, or 
maid servant, or otherwise mayme or much disfigure him, unlesse it 
be by meere casualtie, he shall let them goe free from his service. 
And shall have such further recompense as the Court shall allow him. 

88. Servants that have served deligentlie and faithfully to the 
benefitt of their maisters seaven yearse, shall not be sent away emptie. 
And if any have bene unfaithfull, negligent or unprofitable in their 
service, notwithstanding the good usage of their maisters, they shall 
not be dismissed till they have made' satisfaction according to the 
Judgement of Authoritie. 


Liberties of Forreiners and Strangers 

89. If any people of other Nations professing the true Christian 
Religion shall flee to us from the Tiranny or oppression of their 
persecutors, or from famyne, warres, or the like necessary and com- 
pulsarie cause, They shall be entertayned and succoured amongst 
us, according to that power and prudence, god shall give us. 

90. If any ships or other vessels, be it freind or enemy, shall suffer 
shipwrack upon our Coast, there shall be no violence or wrong 
offerred to their persons or goods. But their persons shall be 
harboured, and relieved, and their goods preserved in safety till 
Authoritie may be certified thereof, and shall take further order 

91. There shall never be any bond slaverie, villinage or Cap- 
tivitie amongst us unles it be lawfull Captives taken in just warres, 
and such strangers as willingly selle themselves or are sold to us. 
And these shall have all the liberties and Christian usages which the 
law of god established in Israeli concerning such persons doeth 
morally require. This exempts none from servitude who shall be 
Judged thereto by Authoritie. 

Off the Bruite Creature 

92. No man shall exercise any Tirranny or Crueltie towards any 
bruite Creature which are usuallie kept for man's use. 

93. If any man shall have occasion to leade or drive Cattel from 
place to place that is far of, so that they be weary, or hungry, or fall 
sick, or lambe, It shall be lawful to rest or refresh them, for compe- 
tant time, in any open place that is not Come, meadow, or inclosed 
for some peculiar use. 

94. Capitall Laws 


If any man after legall conviction shall have or worship any other 
god, but the lord god, he shall be put to death. 1 

1 Deut. xiii. 6, 10. Dcut. xvii. 2, 6. Ex. xxii. 20. 



If any man or woeman be a witch, (that is hath or consulteth with 
a familiar spirit,) they shall be put to death. 2 


If any person shall Blaspheme the name of god, the father, Sonne 
or Holie Ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous or high handed 
blasphemie, or shall curse god in the like manner, he shall be put 
to death. 3 


If any person committ any wilf ull murther, which is manslaughter, 
committed upon premeditated malice, hatred, or Crueltie, not in a 
mans necessarie and just defence, nor by meere casualtie against his 
will, he shall be put to death. 4 


If any person slayeth an other suddaienly in his anger or Crueltie 
of passion, he shall be put to death. 5 


If any person shall slay an other through guile, either by poyson- 
ing or other such divelish practice, he shall be put to death. 6 


If any man or woeman shall lye with any beaste or bruite creature 
by Carnall Copulation, They shall surely be put to death. And the 
beast shall be slaine, and buried and not eaten. 7 

If any man lyeth with mankinde as he lyeth with a woeman, both 
of them have committed abhominatiop, they both shall surely be put 
to death. 8 

2 Ex. xxii. 18. Lev. xx. 27. Dcut. xviii. jo. 

3 Lev. xxiv. 15, 1 6. 

4 Ex. xxi. 22. Numb. xxxv. 13, 14, 30, 31. 

5 Numb. xxv. 20, 21. Lc*v. xxiv. 17. 6 Ex. xxi. 14. 
7 Lev. xx. 15, 16. 8 Lcv. xx. 13. 



If any person committeth Adultery with a maried or espoused wife, 
the Adulterer and Adulteresse shall surely be put to death. 9 


If any man stealeth a man or mankinde, he shall surely be put 
to death. 10 


If any man rise up by false witnes, wittingly and of purpose to take 
away any mans life, he shall be put to death. 11 


If any man shall conspire and attempt any invasion, insurrection, 
or publique rebellion against our commonwealth, or shall indeavour 
to surprize any Towne or Townes, fort or forts therein, or shall 
treacherously and perfediouslie attempt the alteration and subversion 
of our frame of politic or Government fundamentallie, he shall be 
put to death. 

95. A Declaration of the Liberties the Lord Jesus hath 
given to the Churches 


All the people of god within this Jurisdiction who are not in a 
church way, and be orthodox in Judgement, and not scandalous in 
life, shall have full libertic to gather themselves into a Church Estaite. 
Provided they doe it in a Christian way, with due observation of the 
rules of Christ revealed in his word. 


Every Church hath full libertie to exercise all the ordinances of 
god, according to the rules of scripture. 
9 Lev. xx. 19, and 18, 20. Dcut. xxii. 23, 24. 10 Ex. xxi. i6."Deut. xix. 16, 18, 19. 



Every Church hath free libertie of Election and ordination of all 
their officers from time to time, provided they be able, pious and 


Every Church hath free libertie of Admission, Recommendation, 
Dismission, and Expulsion, or deposall of their officers, and members, 
upon due cause, with free exercise of the Discipline and Censures of 
Christ according to the rules of his word. 


No Injunctions are to be put upon any Church, Church officers 
or member in point of Doctrine, worship or Discipline, whether for 
substance or cercumstance besides the Institutions of the lord. 


Every Church of Christ hath freedome to celebrate dayes of fasting 
and prayer, and of thanksgiveing according to the word of god. 


The Elders of Churches have free libertie to meete monthly, Quar- 
terly, or otherwise, in convenient numbers and places, for confer- 
ences, and consultations about Christian and Church questions and 


All Churches have libertie to deale with any of their members in 
a church way that are in the hand of Justice. So it be not to retard 
or hinder the course thereof. 

9. ' 

Every Church hath libertie to deale with any magestrate, Deputie 
of Court or other officer what soe ever that is a member in a church 
way in case of apparent and just offence given in their places, so it 
be done with due observance and respect. 



Wee allowe private meetings for edification in religion amongst 
Christians of all sortes of people. So it be without just offence for 
number, time, place, and other cercumstances. 


For the preventing and removeing of errour and offence that may 
grow and spread in any of the Churches in this Jurisdiction, And for 
the preserveing of trueith and peace in the severall churches within 
themselves, and for the maintenance and exercise of brotherly com- 
munion, amongst all the churches in the Countrie, It is allowed and 
ratified, by the Authoritie of this Generall Court as a lawful libertie 
of the Churches of Christ. That once in every month of the yeare 
(when the season will beare it) It shall be lawfull for the minesters 
and Elders, of the Churches neere adjoyneing together, with any 
other of the breetheren with the consent of the churches to assemble 
by course in each severall Church one after an other. To the intent 
after the preaching of the word by such a minister as shall be re- 
quested thereto by the Elders of the church where the Assembly is 
held, The rest of the day may be spent in publique Christian Confer- 
ence about the discussing and resolveing of any such doubts and cases 
of conscience concerning matter of doctrine or worship or govern- 
ment of the church as shall be propounded by any of the Breetheren 
of that church, will leave also to any other Brother to propound his 
objections or answeres for further satisfaction according to the word 
of god. Provided that the whole action be guided and moderated by 
the Elders of the Church where the Assemblie is helcle, or by such 
others as they shall appoint. And that no thing be concluded and 
imposed by way of Authoritie from one or more churches upon an 
other, but onely by way of Brotherly conference and consultations. 
That the trueth may be searched out to the satisfying of every mans 
conscience in the sight of god according his worde. And because 
such an Assembly and the worke thereof can not be duly attended 
to if other lectures be held in the same weeke. It is therefore agreed 
with the consent of the Churches. That in that weeke when such an 
Assembly is held, All the lectures in all the neighbouring Churches 


for that weeke shall be forborne. That so the publique service of 
Christ in this more solemne Assembly may be transacted with greater 
deligence and attention. 

96. Howsoever these above specified rites, freedomes Immunities, 
Authorites and priveledges, both Civill and Ecclesiastical are ex- 
pressed onely under the name and title of Liberties, and not in the 
exact forme of Laws or Statutes, yet we do with one consent fullie 
Authorise, and earnestly intreate all that are and shall be in Authori- 
tie to consider them as laws, and not to faile to inflict condigne and 
proportionable punishments upon every man impartiallie, that shall 
infringe or violate any of them. 

97. Wee likewise give full power and libertie to any person that 
shall at any time be denyed or deprived of any of them, to commence 
and prosecute their suite, Complaint or action against any man that 
shall so doe in any Court that hath proper Cognizance or judicature 

98. Lastly because our dutie and desire is to do nothing suddainlie 
which fundamentally concerne us, we decree that these rites and 
liberties, shall be Audably read and deliberately weighed at every 
Generall Court that shall be held, within three yeares next insueing, 
And such of them as shall not be altered or repealed they shall stand 
so ratified, That no man shall infringe them without due punish- 

And if any Generall Court within these next thre yeares shall 
faile or forget to reade and consider them as abovesaid. The Gov- 
ernor and Deputy Governor for the time being, and every Assistant 
present at such Courts, shall forfeite 2osh. a man, and everie Deputie 
losh. a man for each neglect, which shall be paid out of their proper 
estate, and not by the Country or the Townes which choose them, 
and whensoever there shall arise any question in any Court amonge 
the Assistants and Associates thereof ijbout the explanation of these 
Rites and liberties, The Generall Court onely shall have power to 
interprett them. 






[In 1644, a dispute arose in Massachusetts between the magistrates and the deputies 
as to the respective powers of the two branches of the legislature, the deputies claim- 
ing judicial authority. Winthrop's opposition to this claim brought upon him and 
other magistrates the charge of arbitrary government; and in order to clear up the 
situation he drew up the following document. It is important not only for its 
presentation of Winthrop's personal views, but for the light it throws upon the 
origins of the political institutions of the Commonwealth.] 

AJITRARY Government is where a people have men set over 
them, without their choice or allowance; who have power 
to govern them, and judge their causes without a rule. 
God only hath this prerogative; whose sovereignty is absolute, and 
whose will is a perfect rule, and reason itself; so as for man to usurp 
such authority, is tyranny, and impiety. 

Where the people have liberty to admit or reject their governors, 
and to require the rule by which they shall be governed and judged, 
this is not an arbitrary government. 

That the Government of the Massachusetts is such will appear 
(i) by the foundation of it; (2) by the positive laws thereof; (3) by 
the constant practice which proves a custom, than which (when it is 
for common good) there is no law of man more inviolable. 

i. The foundation of this Government is the King's Letters Pat- 
ents: this gave them their form and being, in disposing a certain 
number of persons into a body politic; whereby they became then 
(in such a politic respect) as one single person, consisting of several 



members, and appoint to each its proper place: it regulates their 
power and motions as might best conduce to the preservation and 
good of the whole body. 

The parties or members of this body politic are reduced under two 
kinds, Governor and Company, or Freemen: to the Governor it adds 
a Deputy, and eighteen Assistants: in these is the power of authority 
placed, under the name of the Governor (not as a person, but as a 
State) and in the other (which is named the Company) is placed the 
power of liberty: which is not a bare passive capacity of freedom, 
or immunity, but such a liberty as hath power to act upon the chief- 
est means of its own welfare (yet in a way of liberty, not of author- 
ity) and that under two general heads, election and counsel: (i) they 
have liberty to elect yearly (or oftener if occasion require) all their 
Governors and other their general officers, viz., such as should have 
influence (either judicial or ministerial) into all parts of the juris- 
diction; (2) they have liberty of counsel in all the General Assem- 
blies, so as without/ their counsel and consent no laws, decrees, or 
orders, of any public nature or concernment, not any taxes, imposi- 
tions, impresses, or other burdens of what kind soever, can be im- 
posed upon them, their families or estates, by any authority in the 
Government: which notwithstanding remains still a distinct member, 
even in those General Assemblies: otherwise our state should be a 
mere Democratie, if all were Governors or magistrates, and none left 
to be an object of government, which cannot fall out in any kind of 

To make this clear, we will set down the very words of the 

"(i) The words of Constitution of this body politic are these, A, 
B, C, and all such others as shall hereafter be admitted and made free 
of the Company and society hereafter mentioned shall be, etc., one 
body politic and Corporate, in fact and name, by the name of the 
Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. 
And that from henceforth forever there shall be one Governor, one 
Deputy-Governor, and eighteen Assistants of the same Company, 
to be from time to time, constituted, elected, and chosen, out of the 
Freemen of the said Company for the time being; in such manner 
and form, as hereafter in these presents is expressed, which said 


officers shall apply themselves to take care for the best disposing and 
ordering of the great business and affairs of, for, and concerning, the 
said lands and premises hereby mentioned to be granted, and the 
plantation thereof, and the government of the people there." 

(2) The distribution of power follows, in these words ensuing: 
"That the Government of the said Company for the time being or, 
in his absence by occasion of sickness or otherwise, the Deputy- 
Governor for the time being, shall have authority from time to time, 
upon all occasions, to give order, for the assembling of the said Com- 
pany, and calling them together, to consult and advise of the busi- 
nesses and affairs of the said Company. 

"And that the said Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants 
of the said Company for the time being shall or may once every 
month or oftener at their pleasures, assemble and hold and keep a 
Court, or Assembly of themselves, for the better ordering and direct- 
ing of their affairs: 

"And that any seven, or more persons of the Assistants, together 
with the Governor or Deputy-Governor so assembled, shall be said, 
taken, held, and reputed to be, and shall be, a full and sufficient 
Court or Assembly of the said Company, for the handling, ordering, 
and dispatching of all such businesses and occurrents, as shall from 
time to time happen touching or concerning the said Company or 

Then follows a clause, whereby liberty is granted to hold four 
general Courts in the year, wherein (with the advice and consent of 
the major part of the freemen) they may admit others to the freedom 
of the Company, they may make all subordinate officers, and make 
laws and constitutions, for their welfare and good government. 

Then followeth a clause for the annual election of all their officers 
in these words ensuing: 

"That yearly once in the year forever, namely on the last Wednes- 
day in Easter Term yearly, the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and As- 
sistants of the said Company shall be in the General Court or Assem- 
bly, to be held for that day or time, newly chosen for the year ensu- 
ing, by such greater part of the said Company, for the time being, 
then and there present as is aforesaid.'* 

Then follows another branch, whereby, in any of their General 


Courts, any insufficient, or delinquent Officer (of what sort soever) 
may be removed and another forthwith put in place. 

The last clause is for the governing of the inhabitants within the 
plantation. For it being the manner for such as procured patents 
for Virginia, Bermudas, and the West Indies, to keep the chief gov- 
ernment in the hands of the Company residing in England (and 
so this was intended and with much difficulty we got it abscinded) 
this clause is inserted in this and all other patents whereby the Com- 
pany in England might establish a Government and Officers here in 
any form used in England, as Governor and Council, Justices of the 
Peace, Mayor, Bailiffs, etc.; and accordingly Mr. Endicott and others 
with him, were established a Governor and Council here, before the 
Government was transferred hither: and that clause is expressed in 
these words: 

"It shall and may be lawful, to and for the Governor, etc., and such 
of the Freemen of the said Company for the time being, as shall be 
assembled in any oC their General Courts aforesaid, or in any other 
Courts to be specially summoned and assembled for that purpose, or 
the greater part of them, whereof the Governor or Deputy-Governor, 
and six of the Assistants to be always seven; from time to time, to 
make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable 
orders, laws, statutes, and ordinances, directions, and instructions, 
not contrary to this our Realm of England: as well for settling of the 
forms and ceremonies of government and magistracy, fit and neces- 
sary for the said plantation, and inhabitants there, and for naming 
and styling of all sorts of officers, both superior and inferior, which 
they shall find needful for that Government and plantation; and the 
distinguishing and setting forth of the several duties, powers, and 
limits of every such office, etc., for disposing and ordering the election 
of such of the said officers as shall be annual, etc., and for setting 
down forms of oaths and for ministering of them, etc., and for the 
directing, ruling, and disposing of all matters and things, whereby 
our said people inhabitants there, may be so religiously, peaceably, 
and civilly governed, etc." 

Thus it appears that this Government is not arbitrary in the 
foundation of it, but regulated in all the parts of it. 

(2) It will be yet further found by the positive laws thereof: 


And first by that of (3) 14 1634; where it is declared, that the 
General Court only may make freemen; make laws; choose General 
Officers, as Governor, Deputy, Assistants, Treasurer, etc.; remove 
such; set out their power and duty; raise moneys; dispose of lands 
in proprieties; not to be dissolved but by consent of the major part. 
The freemen of the several towns may send their deputies to every 
General Court who may do all that the body of freemen might do, 
except in election of magistrates and officers. 

And in the sixty-seventh Liberty it is thus described, viz. "It is 
the constant liberty of the freemen, to choose yearly, at the Court of 
Election, out of the freemen, all the general officers of this jurisdic- 
tion. If they please to discharge them at the Court of Elections, by 
vote, they may do it without showing cause; but if at any other Gen- 
eral Court, we hold it due justice, that the reasons thereof be alleged 
and proved. By general officers, we mean our Governor, Deputy- 
Governor, Assistants, Treasurer, General of our wars, and our Ad- 
miral at sea; and such as are, or may be hereafter, of like general 

(3) According to these fundamental rules and positive laws, the 
course of government hath been carried on in the practice of public 
administrations to this very day, and where any considerable ob- 
liquity hath been discerned, it hath been soon brought to the rule 
and redressed; for it is not possible in the infancy of a plantation, 
subject to so many and variable occurrents to hold so exactly to rules, 
as when a state is once settled. 

By what hath been already manifested, this Government is freed 
from any semblance at arbitrariness either in the form of it, or the 
general officers in it, which is the first branch in the description of 
Arbitrary Government. 

The other branch, (wherein the main question lies) is concerning 
the rule so as if it shall appear also, that the Governor and other 
officers are prescribed such a rule, as may be required of them in all 
their administrations, then it must needs be granted, that this Gov- 
ernment (even in the present state thereof) is, in no respect, arbitrary. 

I might show a clear rule out of the Patent itself, but seeing it is 
more particularly (and as it were membratim) delineated in later 
laws, I will begin there, (3) 251636. It was ordered, that until a 


body of fundamental laws (agreeable to the Word of God) were 
established, all causes should be heard and determined, according to 
the laws already in force; and where no law is, there as near the 
law of God as may be. To omit many particular laws enacted upon 
occasion, I will set down only the first authority in the Liberties: 
which is as here followeth: "No man's life shall be taken away; no 
man's honor or good name shall be stained; no man's person shall be 
arrested, restrained, banished, dismembered, or any ways punished; 
no man shall be deprived of his wife or children; no man's goods or 
estate shall be taken away from him, or any way damaged, under 
colour of law or countenance of authority, unless it be by the virtue 
or equity of some express law of the country, warranting the same, 
established by a General Court and sufficiently published; or, in case 
of the defect of a law in any particular case, by the word of God, 
and in capital cases, or in cases concerning dismembering or banish- 
ment, according to that word, to be judged by the General Court." 

By these it appears, that the officers of this body politic have a 
rule to walk by in all their administrations, which rule is the Word 
of God, and such conclusions and deductions as are, or shall be, 
regularly drawn from thence. 

All commonwealths have had some principles, or fundamentals, 
from which they have framed deductions to particular cases, as 
occasion hath required. And though no Commonwealth ever had, 
or can have, a particular positive rule to dispense power or justice by 
in every single case, yet where the fundamentals or general rule hold 
forth such direction as no great damage or injury can befall, either 
the whole, or any particular part, by any unjust sentence or disorderly 
proceeding, without manifest breach of such general rule, there the 
rule may be required, and so the Government is regular and not 

The fundamentals which God gave to the Commonwealth of 
Israel were a sufficient rule to them, to guide all their affairs; we 
having the same, with all the additions, explanations, and deductions, 
which have followed; it is not possible we should want a rule in 
any case, if God give wisdom to discern it. 

There are some few cases only (beside the capitals) wherein the 
penalty is prescribed; and the Lord could have done the like in 


others, if He had so pleased; but having appointed governments 
upon earth, to be His vicegerents, He hath given them those few 
as presidents to direct them and to exercise His gifts in them (Deut. 
xvii; 9, 10, n). In the most difficult cases, the judges in supreme 
authority were to show the sentence of the law; whence three things 
may be observed: (i ) this sentence was to be declared out of the law 
established, though not obvious to common understanding; (2) this 
was to be expected in that ordinance; therefore (v. 19,) the King 
was to have a copy of the law, and to read them all the days of his 
life; (3) such a sentence was not ordained to be provided before the 
case fell out, but pro re nata, when occasion required, God promised 
to be present in his own ordinance, to improve such gifts as he should 
please to confer upon such as he should call to place of government. 
In the Scripture there are some forms of prayers and of sermons set 
down; yet no man will infer from thence that ministers should have 
sermons and prayers prescribed them for every occasion; for that 
would destroy the ordinance of the ministry, /. e., a reading priest 
might serve in that office, without any learning or other gifts of the 
Spirit. So if all penalties were prescribed, the jury should state the 
case, and the book hold forth the sentence, and any schoolboy 
might pronounce it; then what need were there of any special wis- 
dom, learning, courage, zeal or faithfulness in a judge? 

This being so great a question now on foot, about prescript penal- 
ties it will be of use to search as deep into it as we may by the light 
of Scripture, approved patterns, and other rational arguments; not 
tying our discourse to method, but laying down things as they come 
to hand. 

England in the right constitution, is not an Arbitrary Government, 
nor is ours of the Massachusetts; yet juries, both there and here, give 
damages which (in vulgar sense) are arbitrary, in most cases: as in 
actions of slander, trespass, battery, breach of covenant, etc.; all which 
concern the people's liberties no less than fines and other penalties; 
And if twelve men, who have no calling to office, may (in expecta- 
tion of God's assistance) be trusted with men's estates in a way of 
distributive justice without a prescript rule, etc., why may not those 
whose calling and office hath promise of assistance, have like trust 
reposed in them, in vindictive justice? 


In the Liberties enacted here of purpose to prevent Arbitrary 
Government, there are near forty Laws, to the violation whereof no 
penalty is prescribed, nor was ever moved. 

God may pronounce sentence against an offender, before the of- 
fence be committed, both by his absolute sovereignty, and also because 
he foreseeth all facts, with all their circumstances; and besides the 
least degree of the same offence deserves more than that full punish- 
ment before his Justice, but man must proceed according to his 
Commission; by which he cannot sentence another before he hath 
offended; and the offence examined, proved, laid to the rule, and 
weighed by all considerable circumstances, and liberty given to the 
party to answer for himself: nor is there anything more prejudicial 
to a subject's liberty, than to be sentenced before his cause be heard. 

England is a state of long standing, yet we have had more positive 
and more wholesome laws enacted in our short time than they had 
in many hundred years. They have indeed some laws with pre- 
scribed penalties a/mexed, but they are for the most part so small as 
do undervalue the least degree of those offences; they have twelve 
pence for an Oath: five shillings for drunkenness, etc.; but for all 
great offences and misdemeanors, as perjury, forgery, conspiracies, 
cozenages, oppression, riot, batteries, and other breaches of the peace, 
etc., there is no penalty prescribed; how it is in other states in Europe, 
I cannot relate (because we know not their laws) otherwise than 
what appears in their histories, where we find some great offences 
punished by the discretion of their judges. 

Justice ought to render to every man according to his deservings, 
eye for eye, hand for hand, etc.; and (Luke xii. 47) the servant, who 
transgressed against knowledge was to be beaten with more stripes 
than he who transgressed of ignorance. If we had a law, that every 
lie should be punished forty shillings, and two offenders should be 
convict at the same time, the one a youth of honest conversation, 
never known to lie before; and now, suddenly surprised with fear of 
some discredit, had told a lie whereiti was no danger of harm to any 
other; the other an old notorious liar, and his lie contrived of pur- 
pose for a pernicious end: it were not just to punish both these alike. 
As forty shillings were too little for the one, so it were too much for 
the other. Besides, penalties (we know) coming of fccna, should 


cause pain or grief to the offenders. It must be an affliction, yet not a 
destruction except in capital or other heinous crimes: but in prescript 
penalties, authority shoots at adventure; if the same penalty hits a 
rich man, it pains him not, it is no affliction to him; but if it lights 
upon a poor man, it breaks his back. 

Every law must be just in every part of it, but if the penalty 
annexed be unjust, how can it be held forth as a just law? To pre- 
scribe a penalty must be by some rule, otherwise it is an usurpation 
of God's prerogative; but where the law-makers, or declarers, cannot 
find a rule for prescribing a penalty, if it come before the judges 
pro re nata, there it is determinable by a certain rule, viz., by an 
ordinance set up of God for that purpose, which hath a sure promise 
of Divine assistance (Exo. xxi. 22; Deut. xvi. 18). "Judges and 
Officers shalt thou make, etc., and they shall judge the people with 
just judgment." (Deut. xxv. i, 2, and xvii. 9, 10, n). If a Law were 
made that if any man were found drunken he should be punished 
by the judges according to the merit of his offence, this is a just law, 
because it is warranted by a rule; but if a certain penalty were pre- 
scribed, this would not be just, because it wants a rule, but when such 
a case is brought before the judges, and the quality of the person and 
other circumstances considered, they shall find a rule to judge by; 
as if Nabal, and Uriah, and one of the strong drunkards of Ephraim, 
were all three together accused before the judges for drunkenness, 
they could so proportion their several sentences, according to the 
several natures and degrees of their offences, as a just and divine 
sentence might appear in them all; for a divine sentence is in the lips 
of the King, his mouth transgresseth not in judgment (Prov. xvi.), 
but no such promise was ever made to a paper sentence of human 
authority or invention. He who hath promised His servants to teach 
them what to answer, even in that hour when they shall be brought 
before judgment seats, etc., will also teach his ministers, the judges, 
what sentence to pronounce, if they will also observe His word and 
trust in Him. "Care not for the morrow, etc." is a rule of general 
extent, to all cases where our providence may either cross with some 
rule or ordinance of His, or may occasion us to rely more upon our 
own strengths and means, than upon His grace and blessing. In the 
sentence which Solomon gave between the two harlots (i Kings iii. 


28), it is said that all Israel heard of the judgment which the King 
had judged; and they feared the King, for they saw that the wisdom 
of God was in him to do judgment. See here, how the wisdom of 
God was glorified, and the authority of the judge strengthened by 
this sentence; whereas in men's prescript sentences neither of these 
can be attained; but if the sentence hit right, all is ascribed to the 
wisdom of our ancestors; if otherwise, it is endured as a necessary 
evil, since it may not be altered. 

Prescript penalties take away the use of admonition, which is also 
a divine sentence and an ordinance of God, warranted by Scripture, 
as appears in Solomon's admonition to Adonijah, and Nehemiah's 
to those that break the Sabbath (Ecel. xii. n, 12); "The words of 
the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assem- 
blies by these (my son) be admonished." (Prov. xxix. i; Isa. xi. 4; 
Prov. xvii. 10). "A reproof entereth more into a wise man, than a 
hundred stripes into a fool." 

Judges are Gods upon earth; therefore, in their administrations, 
they are to hold forth the wisdom and mercy of God, (which are 
His attributes) as well as His Justice, as occasion shall require either 
in respect of the quality of the person, or for a more general good, 
or evident repentance, in some cases of less public consequence, or 
avoiding imminent danger to the State, and such like prevalent con- 
siderations. (Exo. xxii. 8, 9). For theft and such like trespasses, 
double restitution was appointed by the Law; but (Lev. vi. 2, 5) in 
such cases, if the party confessed his sin and brought his offering, he 
should only restore the principal and add a fifth part thereto. Adul- 
tery and incest deserved death, by the Law, in Jacob's time (as ap- 
pears by Judah his sentence, in the case of Tamar); yet Reuben was 
punished only with the loss of his birthright, because he was a 
patriarch. David his life was not taken away for his adultery and 
murder (but he was otherwise punished) in respect of public inter- 
est and advantage; he was valued at ten thousand common men. 
Bathsheba was not put to death for her* adultery, because the King's 
desire had with her the force of a law. Abiathar was not put to 
death for his treason, because of his former good service and faith- 
fulness. Shemei was reprieved for a time, and had his pardon in his 
own power, because of his profession of repentance in such a season. 


Those which broke the Sabbath in Nehemiah his time, were not put 
to death, but first admonished, because the state was not settled, etc. 
Joab was not put to death for his murders in David's time, for avoid- 
ing imminent public danger; the sons of Zeruiah had the advantage 
of David, by their interest in the men of war; and the common- 
wealth could not yet spare them. But if judges be tied to a prescript 
punishment, and no liberty left for dispensation or mitigation in 
any case, there is no place left for wisdom or mercy; whereas Solomon 
sayeth (Prov. xx. 28) : u Mercy and truth preserve the King, and his 
throne is upholden by mercy." 

I would know by what rule we may take upon us, to prescribe 
penalties, where God prescribes none. If it be answered, "From God's 
example," I might reply (i), God prescribes none except capital, but 
only in such cases as are between party and party, and that is rather 
in a way of satisfaction to the party wronged, than to justice and 
intention. (2), God's examples are not warrants for us to go against 
God's rules; our rule is to give a just sentence, which we cannot do 
(in most cases) before the offence is committed, etc. Five shillings 
now may be more than twenty shillings hereafter, and e contra. If 
examples in Scripture be warrant for us to proceed against rule, then 
we may pass by murders, adulteries, idolatries, etc., without capital 
punishments; then we might put the children to death for parents' 
offences, etc. 

If we should inquire also of the end of prescribing penalties, it can 
be no other but this, to prevent oppression of the people by unjust 
sentences; then I am again to seek of a rule to weaken the power and 
justice of an ordinance of God, through distrust of His providence, 
and promise of assistance in His own ordinance. Who must give the 
lawmakers wisdom, etc., to prescribe sentences? Must not God? 
And may we not then trust Him to give as much wisdom, etc., to 
such judges as He shall set up after us? It is said when they had 
judges by God's appointment, God was with the judge. So may we 
still believe that if our posterity all choose judges according to God, 
He will be with the judges in time to come, as well as with the 

It may be further demanded, what power we have over the prop- 
erty and estates of the succeeding generations? If we should now 


prescribe where our posterity should dwell, what quantities of land 
they should till, what places they should tend unto, what diet they 
should use, what clothes they should wear, etc., by what rule could 
we challenge this power? Yet we have example for some of these 
in Scripture, as of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, etc.; but no man will 
take these as warrants for us to lay such injunctions upon those which 
come after us, because they are to have the same interest and freedom 
in their estates and properties that we have in ours. 

And for preventing of oppression, etc., is there no way to help 
that but by breach of rule? Shall we run into manifest injustice for 
fear of I know not what future danger of it ? Is there not a clear way 
of help in such cases, by appeal, or petition, to the highest authority? 
If this will not relieve in a particular case, we shall then be in a very 
ill case for all our prescript penalties. Besides, there may be such a 
general law made (as in Magna Charta) that may prevent the over- 
throwing of men's estates, or lands, etc., by fines, etc., (and I think 
it is needful, as any law of Liberty we have), whereby the judges 
may be restrained within certain limits, which, (if occasion should 
require to exceed,) may be referred to the General Court; and in 
capital punishments, a liberty in such and such cases, to redeem 
them at a certain rate. This would sufficiently assure the proper 
persons and estates from any great oppression, if, withal, our Courts 
of Judicature were kept but by three or five magistrates at most, 
which may well be ordered, without any deviation from our Patent. 
And so the greater number of magistrates should be free from en- 
gagement in any case which might come to a review upon appeal 
or petition. 

It is an error so to conceit of laws as if they could not be perfect 
without penalties annexed, for they are as truly distinct as light and 
darkness. Law was created with and in man, and so is natural to 
him, but penalty is positive and accidental. Law is bonum simpliciter, 
but pocna is simpliciter malum in sufriecto; therefore laws may be 
declared and given without any penalties annexed. 

Isa. x, i: Woe to them that decree unrighteous decrees: and write 
grievousness, which they have prescribed; so that where the penalty 
proves grievous by the unrighteousness of a prescript decree, it will 
draw a woe after it, as well as unrighteous sentences; (Deut. xxv, 15) 


"Thou shall have a perfect and just weight and measure." If God be 
so strict in commutative justice that every act therein must be by 
a just and perfect rule, what warrant have we to think that we may 
dispense distributive or vindictive justice to our brethren by guess, 
when we prescribe a certain measure to an uncertain merit? 

But it will be objected, volenti non fit injuria; the people giving 
us power to make laws to bind them, they do implicitly give their 
consent to them. To this it may be answered that where they put 
themselves into our power to bind them to laws and penalties, they 
can intend no other but such as are just and righteous; and although 
their implicit consent may bind them to outward obedience, yet it 
neither ties them to satisfaction, nor frees such law-makers from 
unrighteousness, nor the law itself from injustice, nor will such a 
law be a sufficient warrant to the conscience of the judge, to pro- 
nounce such a sentence as he knows to be apparently disproportion- 
able to the offence brought before him. 

Although my argument conclude against prescript penalties indefi- 
nitely, yet I do not deny but they may be lawful in some cases; for 
an universal affirmative position may be true, though it comprehend 
not every particular, as when we say, "All the country was rated 
to such a charge," no man will conceive that every person and every 
woman, etc., was rated; and when we say such an one was cast out 
by the whole church, this is a true speech (to common intendment) 
though every particular member did not consent. Where any penalty 
may be prescribed by a rule, so as the judge may pronounce a just 
sentence, I have formerly and shall still join in it. 

We will now answer such objections as are made against the 
liberty required to be left to judges in their sentences. 

i, ob. Judges are subject to temptations, if their sentences be not 

Ans. i. We may not transgress rules, to avoid temptations; for 
God will have His servants exercised with temptations, that the 
power of His grace may be made manifest in man's infirmity. A 
master will not send his servant about his business in a dark night, 
to avoid temptations of ill-company or the like which he may possibly 
meet with in the day time; nor will any Christian man take in his 
corn or hay before it be ready, for avoiding a temptation of taking 


it in upon the Sabbath. We do not forbid wine to be brought to us, 
though we know it is a great occasion of temptation to sin. 

2. Those who make laws and prescribe penalties are also men 
subject to temptations, and may also miscarry through ignorance, 
heedlessness, or sinister respects; and it is not hard to prove, that the 
lawmakers, in all states, have committed more, and more pernicious 
errors than the judges, and there is good reason for it: (i) they, 
supposing themselves tied to no rule, nor liable to any account, are 
in the more danger of being mislead; (2) he who prescribes a punish- 
ment in a case wherein no person stands before him to be judged, 
cannot be so wary of shedding innocent blood, or sparing a guilty 
person, or committing other injustice, as the judge who hath the 
person and cause before him. When Saul prescribed that capital 
sentence against such as should taste aught before night, if Jonathan's 
case had then been before him, he could have judged otherwise. 
(3) Lawmakers have not so clear a calling in prescribing penalties, 
as judges have in passing sentences, and therefore there cannot be 
expected the like blessing of assistance from God. Judges are neces- 
sarily tied to give sentence in a cause before them, but lawmakers 
are not so bound to prescribe sentences. 

3. If a judge should sometimes err in his sentence, through mis- 
prision or temptation, the error or fault is his own; and the injury 
or damage extends not far; but an error in the law resteth upon the 
ordinance itself, and the hurt of it may reach far, even to posterity. 
There is more righteousness and dishonor in one unjust law than 
in many unjust sentences. 

2, ob. God prescribed some certain penalties, and that in cases 
where offences do usually vary in their degree and merit. 

Ans. i. We have showed before, how God might do it, in regard 
to His absolute sovereignty. 

2. It is no injustice to Him, because the least degree of the smallest 
offence (before His judgment seat) deserves the highest degree of 

3. In some of these (as in theft) He varieth the punishment ac- 
cording to the measure and nature of the offence. In others as death, 
perpetual solitude, etc., being the just reward of such offences in their 
simple nature, they have not a fit subject, for an increase of punish- 


ment to take place upon. He who is put to death for adultery cannot 
die again for incest concurring therewith, and he who is adjudged to 
perpetual servitude for stealing a hundred pounds cannot be capable 
of a further sentence for battery. 

4. In all or most of those offences, the penalty was in way of 
satisfaction to such as were damnified therewith, and in such cases 
justice will not allow a judge any liberty to alter or remit any thing, 
nor can any circumstance lead to qualification. A rich man hath 
the same right of satisfaction for his goods stolen from him as a 
poor man, and the poorest man's life is the life of man, as well as a 

5. These precedents were given to the judges not with direction 
to prescribe penalties to other laws that had none, but with command- 
ment to give judgment in all cases, by the equity of these: (there are 
some forms of prayer and sermons in Scripture, but this doth not 
prove ergo all, etc.) 

3, ob. If the determination of the law were left to the judges, that 
were Arbitrary Government; and is it not in reason the same, if the 
punishment of the transgression of the law be committed? 

Ans. The reason is not alike in both cases. 

1. The determination of law belongs properly to God: He is the 
only lawgiver; but He hath given power and gifts to man to inter- 
pret His laws; and this belongs principally to the highest authority 
in a commonwealth, and subordinately to other magistrates and 
judges according to their several places. 

2. The law is always the same, and not changeable by any circum- 
stances of aggravation or extenuation, as the penalty is, and there- 
fore draws a certain guilt upon every transgressor, whether he sin 
of ignorance, or against knowledge, or presumptuously; and there- 
fore laws or the interpretations of them, may be prescribed without 
any danger, because no event can alter the reason, or justice of them, 
as it may of punishments. 

3. The law is more general, and lieth as a burden upon all persons 
and at all times; but the penalty reaches to none but transgressors, 
and to such, only when they are brought under sentence, and not 

4. It is needful that all men should know the laws, and their true 


meanings, because they are bound to them, and the safety and welfare 
of the commonwealth consists in the observation of them; therefore 
it is needful they should be stated and declared as soon as is possible; 
but there is not the like necessity or use of declaring their penalties 
beforehand, for they who are godly and virtuous, will observe them, 
for conscience and virtue's sake; and for such as must be held in by 
fear of punishment, it is better they should be kept in fear of a 
greater punishment than to take liberty to transgress through the 
contempt of a smaller. 

4, ob. It is safe for the commonwealth to have penalties prescribed, 
because we know not what magistrates or judges we may have 

Ans. i. God foresaw that there would be corrupt judges in Israel, 
yet He left most penalties to their determination. 

2. There is no wisdom of any state can so provide but that in 
many things of greatest concernment they must confide in some 
men; and so it is in all human affairs: the wisest merchants, and the 
most wary, are forced to repose great trust in the wisdom and faith- 
fulness of their servants, factors, masters of their ships, etc. All 
states, in their generals of war, admirals, ambassadors, treasurers, etc., 
and these are causes of more public consequence than the sentence of 
a judge in matters of misdemeanor, or other smaller offences. 

3. When we have provided against all common and probable 
events, we may and ought to trust God for safety from such dangers 
as are only possible, but not likely, to come upon us; especially when 
our striving to prevent such possible dangers may hazard the depri- 
vation or weakening of a present good, or may draw those or other 
evils nearer upon us. 

This discourse is run out to more length than was intended: the 
conclusion is this: The Government of the Massachusetts consists of 
Magistrates and Freemen: in the one is placed the authority, in the 
other, the liberty of the commonwealth. Either hath power to act, 
both alone, and both together, yet By a distinct power, the one of 
liberty, the other of authority. The Freemen act of themselves in 
electing their magistrates and officers; the magistrates act alone in 
all occurrences out of court; and both act together in the General 
Court; yet all limited by certain rules, both in the greater and smaller 


affairs, so as the Government is regular in a mixed aristocraty, and no 
ways arbitrary. 

The returns of the Committee of the House of Deputies concern- 
ing the Boof( about Arbitrary Government, in the examination 
thereof; and the votes of the House passed upon each particular, 

In the first part thereof: 

1. Concerning the definition therein made, we conceive it is 

2. Concerning the distinction therein made of the body politic, 
and the members thereof, in attributing authority to the one, and 
only liberty to the other, we find not any such distinction in the 

3. Concerning the clause recited therein (respecting the General 
Court) which gives only liberty to the freemen to advise and counsel, 
instead of power and authority (which the Patent allows), we con- 
ceive it a taking away of the power and privileges of the freemen. 

In the second part of the book, which concerns the rule by which 
a people should be governed, we find these dangerous positions: 

1. That general rules are sufficient to clear a state from Arbitrary 

2. That judges ought to have liberty to vary from such general 
rules when they see cause. 

In the following of the first of those two positions there are 
many dangerous passages, and bitter censuring of all penal laws: 

1. That they are paper sentences of human authority and inven- 

2. That men's prescript sentences do deny and exclude both the 
wisdom of God, and the authority of the judge. 

3. That to prescribe laws with certain penalties is an usurping 
of God's authority. 

4. That a sentence ought not to be provided before the case fall 
out, but immediate assistance to be expected. 

5. That particular laws including certain penalties are not just, 
wanting rule. 

The introduction of particular instances which are brought to 


prove this second position, with the reasons and consequences, are 
pernicious and dangerous. 

per Robert Bridges, 

By order, etc. 

Governor Winthrop's comments on this report, as indorsed by him 
on the same sheet on which he had carefully copied it, are as 
follows : 

Answer: the Committee have been mistaken in most of their 

1. The Title shows that the author intended not any definition, 
but a description only, and to make it the more full and clear, he 
lays it down both affirmatively and negatively; yet a logician may 
frame it into a definition, thus Arbitrary Government is a Govern- 
ment exercised without a rule, but the description is false by the 
cause and by the effects. 

2. There is no such distinction as is observed between the body 
politic and the members thereof, for that were to distinguish between 
the whole and the parts; but the distinction between the members 
of that body, giving authority to the one and power and liberty to 
the other, is warranted by the Patent (as in other places so) particu- 
larly in that clause which sayeth that the Governor, etc., shall call the 
freemen to consult and advise, etc., which is an act of liberty and not 
of authority; and for the other part of their power, which is matter of 
election, the late Body of Liberties sayeth it is their constant liberty, 
not authority. 

In the second part: 

i. We find not any such posidon that general rules are sufficient 
to clear a state of arbitrary government, but we find that the word 
of God and the laws here established being appointed by order of 
Court as a rule for the present, are such a rule as may be required by 
the judges in all their administrations, because a rule may from 
thence be derived (if God give wisdom to discern it) in any par- 
ticular case which may fall out; otherwise the Law of God were not 
perfect, and from what better grounds shall the lawmakers draw all 
future laws and prescribed penalties. 

But if the author had expressed himself in the very words of the 
posidon yet it will admit a safe construction, for all laws (not limited 


to particular parties or occasions) are general rules, and may be so 
called, though they have a certain penalty annexed. 

2. Nor will the book own the second position in the words ex- 
pressed, but this the judges both from their offices (being God's vice- 
gerents) and from diverse examples in Scripture, which seem to hold 
forth so much, that some liberty ought to be left to judges in some 
cases, upon special occasions to hold forth the mercy of God, as well 
as His justice; nor do we consider that either in the Commonwealth 
of Israel, or in any other, the judges have been wholly restrained of 
such liberty. 

In the following argument: 

If the Committee had found such dangerous passages as they 
intimate, they should have done well to have imparted their particu- 
lar observations therein unto us, that we might have considered of 
them, for want whereof it cannot be expected we should deliver any 
opinion about them. The like we may say for such bitter censurings 
as they mention, only it is usual for men to call such things bitter 
which themselves disrelish, though they may be harmless and whole- 
some notwithstanding. 

For the five particulars mentioned, they are delivered as arguments 
or the consectaries thereof, so as the arguments must first be avoided 
before any judgment can be given about them. 

The examples which the author allegeth out of Scripture are only 
to show how God hath sometimes (in His wisdom and mercy) dis- 
pensed with the rigor of His own law; and that princes have some- 
times done the like upon public or other prevalent considerations, 
which cannot be denied to be a truth; and for the warrant they had 
for it, being (at the most) disputable, it was as free for him to deliver 
them in his own and some other learned and godly men's apprehen- 
sions as it is for others who differ therein; and there can be no more 
danger in this than in other books and sermons, where the same or 
other passages of Scripture are truly reported, though not applied to 
the sense of every godly man, as if one should reason thus: David 
put the Amorites to torture, therefore, in some cases it is lawful so 
to do. This will not be judged a pernicious doctrine, though some 
godly men do question the warrantableness of the example. The like 
may be said of all such examples in Scripture as are controverted 


among godly and learned men; but it is otherwise in such places 
as are not questionable, as if a man should reason thus: David 
sentenced Mephibosheth before he heard him; therefore it is lawful 
for judge so to do. This might truly be said to be a pernicious doc- 
trine; or if one should argue thus: Saul made a law with a prescript 
penalty of death to him that should transgress it; therefore it had 
been just that Jonathan should have been put to death for trans- 
gressing that law; or therefore it is lawful for princes, etc., to pre- 
scribe penalties at their own pleasures; these might be judged to be 
pernicious doctrines, because the example is unquestionable, etc. 


That which gave me occasion first to inquire after a rule for 
prescript penalties, was the inequality I saw in some prescribed sen- 
tences upon the breach of diverse moral laws; and proceeding in this 
inquiry, I kept my intention still upon that subject, without respect 
to such laws as arc merely positive, having their authority only and 
wholly from human institutions: therefore you shall find that all 
my instances are of that kind, and all my arguments look that way, 
as in the instances I bring of the laws of England. If I intended the 
positive and statute laws, it had been a great mistake, for I know well 
that most of the later Statute Laws have their penalties prescribed, 
and it must needs be so, for such as are merely positive; for a judge 
can have no rule for his sentence upon the breach of such a law, 
except he have it from the law itself: as, for instance, if the law which 
forbids any man to kill an hare or partridge with a gun, had not also 
set down the penalty, the judge could not have found out any, which 
might have been just, because no law of God or nature makes such 
an act any offence or transgression. But for the Common Laws of 
England (which are the ancient laws, and of far more esteem for 
their wisdom and equity than the Statute Laws,) they had no pen- 
alties prescribed; and it may be conceived that for such of them as 
were grounded upon the Word of dod, and the light of nature, there 
must needs be that in the same Word, and in the same light of 
nature (especially where the image of God in man is in part renewed 
by Christ) which may lead us to a just punishment for the trans- 
gressor of such a law. Nor do I oppose all prescript penalties in moral 


cases, but only such as do cross some clear rules in the Word of God, 
as will appear by all my arguments. And for avoiding all danger to 
the subject for want of prescript penalties in some cases, you may see 
that to require some such law to be made, as may limit judges within 
such bounds of moderation as may prevent such dangers, and [it] is 
one of my express conclusions in the first page, that judges ought to 
be tied to a rule, and such a rule as may be required of them in all 
their administrations, and therefore upon what ground I should be 
charged to assert Arbitrary Government, and that judges should have 
liberty to do what they may, I leave to your judgment. 

As for laws, you shall find also that I conclude the necessity of 
declaring and stating them, so as all the people may know them, 
for I ever held it unjust to require of men the obedience of any law 
which they may not (by common intendment) take notice of. 
Answerable thereunto hath been my practice. All the useful laws we 
have had my consent, and such poor help as the Lord enabled me to 
yield to them; some of which have prescribed penalties, and where I 
have withheld my consent to any such penalties I have given my 
reasons for it, which have been such as in some cases have satisfied 
the Court, and therein I have taken no more liberty than is allowed 
to every member of the Court. I will not justify every passage in my 
book: there are two or three words that offence hath been taken at, 
and although I can give a safe account of them, yet I must confess 
they do not now please me, but when the matter is good, and the 
intention of the writer honest, the Lord forbids us to make a man 
an offender in word. 

Whatsoever is erroneous (I say as I did from the first) I shall leave 
it to its due censure; but for all that is of God, and of the Truth, or 
the sincerity of my intentions herein to the public weal, or the liberty 
I had by my place to propound such considerations to the Court, if 
these be questioned I must stand and fall with them. 




[The Instrument of Government is important in the history of written constitu- 
tions. It was adopted by Cromwell and his Council of Officers on December 16, 1653, 
and under it Cromwell assumed the office of Lord Protector. When the Parliament 
for which it provides met in September, 1654, it passed a constitution of which the 
Instrument was the basis.] 

THE government of the Commonwealth of England, Scot- 
land, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging. 
I. That the supreme legislative authority of the Common- 
wealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions there- 
unto belonging, shall be and reside in one person, and the people 
assembled in Parliament; the style of which person shall be the Lord 
Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

II. That the exercise of the chief magistracy and the administration 
of the government over the said countries and dominions, and the 
people thereof, shall be in the Lord Protector, assisted with a council, 
the number whereof shall not exceed twenty-one, nor be less than 

III. That all writs, processes, commissions, patents, grants, and 
other things, which now run in the name and style of the keepers 
of the liberty of England by authority of Parliament, shall run in 
the name and style of the Lord Protector, from whom, for the future, 
shall be derived all magistracy and honours in these three nations; 
and have the power of pardons (except in case of murders and trea- 
son) and benefit of all forfeitures for the public use; and shall govern 
the said countries and dominions in, all things by the advice of the 
council, and according to these presents and the laws. 

IV. That the Lord Protector, the Parliament sitting, shall dispose 
and order the militia and forces, both by sea and land, for the peace 
and good of the three nations, by consent of Parliament; and that the 

1 06 


Lord Protector, with the advice and consent of the major part of the 
council, shall dispose and order the militia for the ends aforesaid in 
the intervals of Parliament. 

V. That the Lord Protector, by the advice aforesaid, shall direct 
in all things concerning the keeping and holding of a good corre- 
spondency with foreign kings, princes, and states; and also, with the 
consent of the major part of the council, have the power of war 
and peace. 

VI. That the laws shall not be altered, suspended, abrogated, or 
repealed, nor any new law made, nor any tax, charge, or imposition 
laid upon the people, but by common consent in Parliament, save 
only as is expressed in the thirtieth article. 

VII. That there shall be a Parliament summoned to meet at West- 
minster upon the third day of September, 1654, anc ^ t ^ iat successively 
a Parliament shall be summoned once in every third year, to be 
accounted from the dissolution of the present Parliament. 

VIII. That neither the Parliament to be next summoned, nor any 
successive Parliaments, shall, during the time of five months, to be 
accounted from the day of their first meeting, be adjourned, pro- 
rogued, or dissolved, without their own consent. 

IX. That as well the next as all other successive Parliaments, shall 
be summoned and elected in manner hereafter expressed; that is to 
say, the persons to be chosen within England, Wales, the Isles of 
Jersey, Guernsey, and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, to sit and 
serve in Parliament, shall be, and not exceed, the number of four 
hundred. The persons to be chosen within Scotland, to sit and serve 
in Parliament, shall be, and not exceed, the number of thirty; and 
the persons to be chosen to sit in Parliament for Ireland shall be, and 
not exceed, the number of thirty. 

X. That the persons to be elected to sit in Parliament from time 
to time, for the several counties of England, Wales, the Isles of Jersey 
and Guernsey, and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and all places 
within the same respectively, shall be according to the proportions 
and numbers hereafter expressed: that is to say, 

Bedfordshire, 5; Bedford Town, i; Berkshire, 5; Abingdon, i; Reading, 
i; Buckinghamshire, 5; Buckingham Town, x; Aylesbury, i; Wycomb, 


i; Cambridgeshire, 4; Cambridge Town, i; Cambridge University, i; 
Isle of Ely, 2; Cheshire, 4; Chester, i; Cornwall, 8; Launceston, i; 
Truro, i; Penryn, i; East Looe and West Looe, i; Cumberland, 2; 
Carlisle, i; Derbyshire, 4; Derby Town, i; Devonshire, n; Exeter, 2; 
Plymouth, 2; Clifton, Dartmouth, Hardness, i; Totnes, i; Barnstable, i; 
Tiverton, i; Honiton, i; Dorsetshire, 6; Dorchester, i; Weymouth and 
Melcomb-Regis, i; Lyme-Regis, i; Poole, i; Durham, 2; City of Durham, 
i; Essex, 13; Maiden, i; Colchester, 2; Gloucestershire, 5; Gloucester, 2; 
Tewkesbury, i; Cirencester, i; Herefordshire, 4; Hereford, i; Leominster, 
i; Hertfordshire, 5; St. Alban's, i; Hertford, i; Huntingdonshire, 3; 
Huntingdon, i; Kent, n; Canterbury, 2; Rochester, i; Maidstone, i; 
Dover, i; Sandwich, i; Queenborough, i; Lancashire, 4; Preston, i; 
Lancaster, i; Liverpool, i; Manchester, i; Leicestershire, 4; Leicester, 2; 
Lincolnshire, 10; Lincoln, 2; Boston, i; Grantham, i; Stamford, i; Great 
Grimsby, i; Middlesex, 4; London, 6; Westminster, 2; Monmouthshire, 
3; Norfolk, 10; Norwich, 2; Lynn-Regis, 2; Great Yarmouth, 2; North- 
amptonshire, 6; Peterborough, i; Northampton, i; Nottinghamshire, 4; 
Nottingham, 2; Northumberland, 3; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, i; Berwick, 
i; Oxfordshire, 5; Oxford City, i; Oxford University, i; Woodstock, i; 
Rutlandshire, 2; Shropshire, 4; Shrewsbury, 2; Bridgnorth, i; Ludlow, 
i; Staffordshire, 3; Lichfield, i; Stafford, i; Newcastle-undcr-Lyme, i; 
Somersetshire, n; Bristol, 2; Taunton, 2; Bath, i; Wells, i; Bridgwater, 
i; Southamptonshire, 8; Winchester, i; Southampton, i; Portsmouth, i; 
Isle of Wight, 2; Andover, i; Suffolk, 10; Ipswich, 2; Bury St. Edmunds, 
2; Dunwich, i; Sudbury, i; Surrey, 6; Southwark, 2; Guildford, i; 
Reigate, i; Sussex, 9; Chichester, i; Lewes, i; East Grinstead, i; Arundel, 
i; Rye, i; Westmoreland, 2; Warwickshire, 4; Coventry, 2; Warwick, i; 
Wiltshire, 10; New Sarum, 2; Marlborough, i; Devizes, i; Worcester- 
shire, 5; Worcester, 2. 

YORKSHIRE. West Riding, 6; East Riding, 4; North Riding, 4; City 
of York, 2; Kingston-upon-Hull, i; Beverley, i; Scarborough, i; Rich- 
mond, i; Leeds, i; Halifax, i. 

WALES. Anglesey, 2; Brecknockshire, 2; Cardiganshire, 2; Carmar- 
thenshire, 2; Carnarvonshire, 2; Denbighshire, 2; Flintshire, 2; Gla- 
morganshire, 2; Cardiff, i; Merionethshire, i; Montgomeryshire, 2; Pem- 
brokeshire, 2; Haverfordwest, i; Radnorshire, 2. 

The distribution of the persons, to be chosen for Scotland and Ire- 
land, and the several counties, cities, and places therein, shall be 
according to such proportions and number as shall be agreed 
upon and declared by the Lord Protector and the major part of 
the council, before the sending forth writs of summons for the next 


XL That the summons to Parliament shall be by writ under the 
Great Seal of England, directed to the sheriffs of the several and 
respective counties, with such alteration as may suit with the present 
government, to be made by the Lord Protector and his council, which 
the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal shall 
seal, issue, and send abroad by warrant from the Lord Protector. 
If the Lord Protector shall not give warrant for issuing of writs of 
summons for the next Parliament, before the first of June, 1654, or 
for the Triennial Parliaments, before the first day of August in every 
third year, to be accounted as aforesaid; that then the Chancellor, 
Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal for the time being, shall, 
without any warrant or direction, within seven days after the said 
first day of June, 1654, seal, issue, and send abroad writs of summons 
(changing therein what is to be changed as aforesaid) to the several 
and respective sheriffs of England, Scotland, and Ireland, for sum- 
moning the Parliament to meet at Westminster, the third day of 
September next; and shall likewise, within seven days after the said 
first day of August, in every third year, to be accounted from the 
dissolution of the precedent Parliament, seal, issue, and send forth 
abroad several writs of summons (changing therein what is to be 
changed) as aforesaid, for summoning the Parliament to meet at 
Westminster the sixth of November in that third year. That the said 
several and respective sheriffs, shall, within ten days after the receipt 
of such writ as aforesaid, cause the same to be proclaimed and pub- 
lished in every market-town within his county upon the market- 
days thereof, between twelve and three of the clock; and shall then 
also publish and declare the certain day of the week and month, for 
choosing members to serve in Parliament for the body of the said 
county, according to the tenor of the said writ, which shall be upon 
Wednesday five weeks after the date of the writ; and shall likewise 
declare the place where the election shall be made: for which purpose 
he shall appoint the most convenient place for the whole county tc* 
meet in; and shall send precepts for elections to be made in all and 
every city, town, borough, or place within his county, where elections 
are to be made by virtue of these presents, to the Mayor, Sheriff, or 
other head officer of such city, town, borough, or place, within three 
days after the receipt of such writ and writs; which the said Mayors* 


Sheriffs, and officers respectively are to make publication of, and of 
the certain day for such elections to be made in the said city, town, 
or place aforesaid, and to cause elections to be made accordingly. 

XII. That at the day and place of elections, the Sheriff of each 
county, and the said Mayors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, and other head officers 
within their cities, towns, boroughs, and places respectively, shall take 
view of the said elections, and shall make return into the chancery 
within twenty days after the said elections, of the persons elected 
by the greater number of electors, under their hands and seals, be- 
tween him on the one part, and the electors on the other part; wherein 
shall be contained, that the persons elected shall not have power to 
alter the government as it is hereby settled in one single person and 
a Parliament. 

XIII. That the Sheriff, who shall wittingly and willingly make 
any false return, or neglect his duty, shall incur the penalty of 2000 
marks of lawful English money; the one moiety to the Lord Pro- 
tector, and the other moiety to such person as will sue for the same. 

XIV. That all and every person and persons, who have aided, 
advised, assisted, or abetted in any war against the Parliament, since 
the first day of January 1641 (unless they have been since in the 
service of the Parliament, and given signal testimony of their good 
affection thereunto) shall be disabled and incapable to be elected, or 
to give any vote in the election of any members to serve in the next 
Parliament, or in the three succeeding Triennial Parliaments. 

XV. That all such, who have advised, assisted, or abetted the 
rebellion of Ireland, shall be disabled and incapable for ever to be 
elected, or give any vote in the election of any member to serve in 
Parliament; as also all such who do or shall profess the Roman 
Catholic religion. 

XVL That all votes and elections given or made contrary, or not 
according to these qualifications, shall be null and void; and if any 
person, who is hereby made incapable, shall give his vote for election 
of members to serve in Parliament,' such person shall lose and forfeit 
one full year's value of his real estate, and one full third part of his 
personal estate; one moiety thereof to the Lord Protector, and the 
other moiety to him or them who shall sue for the same. 

XVII. That the persons who shall be elected to serve in Parlia- 


ment, shall be such (and no other than such) as are persons of known 
integrity, fearing God, and of good conversation, and being of the 
age of twenty-one years. 

XVIII. That all and every person and persons seised or possessed 
to his own use, of any estate, real or personal, to the value of 200, 
and not within the aforesaid exceptions, shall be capable to elect 
members to serve in Parliament for counties. 

XIX. That the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great 
Seal, shall be sworn before they enter into their offices, truly and 
faithfully to issue forth, and send abroad, writs of summons to Par- 
liament, at the times and in the manner before expressed: and in 
case of neglect or failure to issue and send abroad writs accordingly, 
he or they shall for every such offence be guilty of high treason, and 
suffer the pains and penalties thereof. 

XX. That in case writs be not issued out, as is before expressed, 
but that there be a neglect therein, fifteen days after the time wherein 
the same ought to be issued out by the Chancellor, Keeper, or Com- 
missioners of the Great Seal; that then the Parliament shall, as often 
as such failure shall happen, assemble and be held at Westminster, 
in the usual place, at the times prefixed, in manner and by the means 
hereafter expressed; that is to say, that the sheriffs of the several and 
respective counties, sheriffdoms, cities, boroughs, and places afore- 
said, within England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, the Chancellor, 
Masters, and Scholars of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 
and the Mayor and Bailiffs of the borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed 
and other places aforesaid respectively, shall at the several courts 
and places to be appointed as aforesaid, within thirty days after the 
said fifteen days, cause such members to be chosen for their said 
several and respective counties, sheriffdoms, universities, cities, bor- 
oughs, and places aforesaid, by such persons, and in such manner as 
if several and respective writs of summons to Parliament 

Great Seal had issued and been awarded 

aforesaid: that if the sheriff, or other persons 

his or their duty herein, that ail and every suchjnetH^Shd person 

authorized as aforesaid, so neglecting his or their duuushall, 

such offence, be guilty of high treason, and shall IpnW dtfe poh^s 

penalties thereof. 1\ TV* ( 


XXL That the clerk, called the clerk of the Commonwealth in 
Chancery for the time being, and all others, who shall afterwards 
execute that office, to whom the returns shall be made, shall for the 
next Parliament, and the two succeeding Triennial Parliaments, the 
next day after such return, certify the names of the several persons so 
returned, and of the places for which he and they were chosen 
respectively, unto the Council; who shall peruse the said returns, 
and examine whether the persons so elected and returned be such 
as is agreeable to the qualifications, and not disabled to be elected: 
and that every person and persons being so duly elected, and being 
approved of by the major part of the Council to be persons not 
disabled, but qualified as aforesaid, shall be esteemed a member of 
Parliament, and be admitted to sit in Parliament, and not otherwise. 

XXII. That the persons so chosen and assembled in manner afore- 
said, or any sixty of them, shall be, and be deemed the Parliament of 
England, Scotland, and Ireland; and the supreme legislative power 
to be and reside,in the Lord Protector and such Parliament, in man- 
ner herein expressed. 

XXIII. That the Lord Protector, with the advice of the major 
part of the Council, shall at any other time than is before expressed, 
when the necessities of the State shall require it, summon Parliaments 
in manner before expressed, which shall not be adjourned, prorogued, 
or dissolved without their own consent, during the first three months 
of their sitting. And in case of future war with any foreign State, 
a Parliament shall be forthwith summoned for their advice con- 
cerning the same. 

XXIV. That all Bills agreed unto by the Parliament, shall be pre- 
sented to the Lord Protector for his consent; and in case he shall not 
give his consent thereto within twenty days after they shall be pre- 
sented to him, or give satisfaction to the Parliament within the time 
limited, that then, upon declaration of the Parliament that the Lord 
Protector hath not consented nor given satisfaction, such Bills shall 
pass into and become laws, altho'ugh he shall not give his consent 
thereunto; provided such Bills contain nothing in them contrary to 
the matters contained in these presents. 

XXV. That Henry Lawrence, Esq., &c./ or any seven of them, 

1 The names of fifteen members are given here. 


shall be a Council for the purposes expressed in this writing; and 
upon the death or other removal of any of them, the Parliament shall 
nominate six persons of ability, integrity, and fearing God, for every 
one that is dead or removed; out of which the major part of the 
Council shall elect two, and present them to the Lord Protector, of 
which he shall elect one; and in case the Parliament shall not nomi- 
nate within twenty days after notice given unto them thereof, the 
major part of the Council shall nominate three as aforesaid to 
the Lord Protector, who out of them shall supply the vacancy; 
and until this choice be made, the remaining part of the Council 
shall execute as fully in all things, as if their number were full. 
And in case of corruption, or other miscarriage in any of the 
Council in their trust, the Parliament shall appoint seven of their 
number, and the Council six, who, together with the Lord Chan- 
cellor, Lord Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal for 
the time being, shall have power to hear and determine such 
corruption and miscarriage, and to award and inflict punishment, 
as the nature of the offence shall deserve, which punishment 
shall not be pardoned or remitted by the Lord Protector; and, in the 
interval of Parliaments, the major part of the Council, with the con- 
sent of the Lord Protector, may, for corruption or other miscarriage 
as aforesaid, suspend any of their number from the exercise of their 
trust, if they shall find it just, until the matter shall be heard and 
examined as aforesaid. 

XXVI. That the Lord Protector and the major part of the Council 
aforesaid may, at any time before the meeting of the next Parliament, 
add to the Council such persons as they shall think fit, provided the 
number of the Council be not made thereby to exceed twenty-one, 
and the quorum to be proportioned accordingly by the Lord Pro- 
tector and the major part of the Council. 

XXVII. That a constant yearly revenue shall be raised, settled, 
and established for maintaining of 10,000 horse and dragoons, and 
20,000 foot, in England, Scotland and Ireland, for the defence and 
security thereof, and also for a convenient number of ships for guard- 
ing of the seas; besides 200,000 per annum for defraying the other 
necessary charges of administration of justice, and other expenses of 
the Government, which revenue shall be raised by the customs, 


and such other ways and means as shall be agreed upon by the 
Lord Protector and the Council, and shall not be taken away 
or diminished, nor the way agreed upon for raising the same 
altered, but by the consent of the Lord Protector and the Parlia- 

XXVIII. That the said yearly revenue shall be paid into the public 
treasury, and shall be issued out for the uses aforesaid. 

XXIX. That in case there shall not be cause hereafter to keep up 
so great a defence both at land or sea, but that there be an abatement 
made thereof, the money which will be saved thereby shall remain 
in bank for the public service, and not be employed to any other use 
but by consent of Parliament, or, in the intervals of Parliament, by 
the Lord Protector and major part of the Council. 

XXX. That the raising of money for defraying the charge of the 
present extraordinary forces, both at sea and land, in respect of the 
present wars, shall be by consent of Parliament, and not otherwise: 
save only that the Lord Protector, with the consent of the major part 
of the Council, for preventing the disorders and dangers which might 
otherwise fall out both by sea and land, shall have power, until the 
meeting of the first Parliament, to raise money for the purposes 
aforesaid; and also to make laws and ordinances for the peace and 
welfare of these nations where it shall be necessary, which shall be 
binding and in force, until order shall be taken in Parliament con- 
cerning the same. 

XXXI. That the lands, tenements, rents, royalties, jurisdictions 
and hereditaments which remain yet unsold or undisposed of, by 
Act or Ordinance of Parliament, belonging to the Commonwealth 
(except the forests and chases, and the honours and manors belonging 
to the same; the lands of the rebels in Ireland, lying in the four 
counties of Dublin, Cork, Kildare, and Carlow; the lands forfeited 
by the people of Scotland in the late wars, and also the lands of 
Papists and delinquents in England who have not yet compounded), 
shall be vested in the Lord Protector, to hold, to him and his succes- 
sors, Lords Protectors of these nations, and shall not be alienated but 
by consent in Parliament. And all debts, fines, issues, amercements, 
penalties and profits, certain and casual, due to the Keepers of the 
liberties of England by authority of Parliament, shall be due to the 


Lord Protector, and be payable into his public receipt, and shall be 
recovered and prosecuted in his name. 

XXXII. That the office of Lord Protector over these nations 
shall be elective and not hereditary; and upon the death of the Lord 
Protector, another fit person shall be forthwith elected to succeed him 
in the Government; which election shall be by the Council, who, 
immediately upon the death of the Lord Protector, shall assemble 
in the Chamber where they usually sit in Council; and, having given 
notice to all their members of the cause of their assembling, shall, 
being thirteen at least present, proceed to the election; and, before 
they depart the said Chamber, shall elect a fit person to succeed in 
the Government, and forthwith cause proclamation thereof to be 
made in all the three nations as shall be requisite; and the person that 
they, or the major part of them, shall elect as aforesaid, shall be, and 
shall be taken to be, Lord Protector over these nations of England, 
Scotland and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging. Pro- 
vided that none of the children of the late King, nor any of his line 
or family, be elected to be Lord Protector or other Chief Magistrate 
over these nations, or any of the dominions thereto belonging. And 
until the aforesaid election be past, the Council shall take care of 
the Government, and administer in all things as fully as the Lord 
Protector, or the Lord Protector and Council are enabled to do. 

XXXIII. That Oliver Cromwell, Captain-General of the forces of 
England, Scotland and Ireland, shall be, and is hereby declared to be, 
Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ire- 
land, and the dominions thereto belonging, for his life. 

XXXIV. That the Chancellor, Keeper or Commissioners of the 
Great Seal, the Treasurer, Admiral, Chief Governors of Ireland and 
Scotland, and the Chief Justices of both the Benches, shall be chosen 
by the approbation of Parliament; and, in the intervals of Parliament, 
by the approbation of the major part of the Council, to be afterwards 
approved by the Parliament. 

XXXV. That the Christian religion, as contained in the Scriptures, 
be held forth and recommended as the public profession of these 
nations; and that, as soon as may be, a provision, less subject to 
scruple and contention, and more certain than the present, be made 
for the encouragement and maintenance of able and painful teachers, 


for the instructing the people, and for discovery and confutation of 
error, hereby, and whatever is contrary to sound doctrine; and until 
such provision be made, the present maintenance shall not be taken 
away or impeached. 

XXXVI. That to the public profession held forth none shall be 
compelled by penalties or otherwise; but that endeavours be used to 
win them by sound doctrine and the example of a good conver- 

XXXVII. That such as profess faith in God by Jesus Christ 
(though differing in judgment from the doctrine, worship or disci- 
pline publicly held forth) shall not be restrained from, but shall be 
protected in, the profession of the faith and exercise of their religion; 
so as they abuse not this liberty to the civil injury of others and to the 
actual disturbance of the public peace on their parts: provided this 
liberty be not extended to Popery or Prelacy, nor to such as, under the 
profession of Christ, hold forth and practice licentiousness. 

XXXVIII. That all laws, statutes and ordinances, and clauses in 
any law, statute or ordinance to the contrary of the aforesaid liberty, 
shall be esteemed as null and void. 

XXXIX. That the Acts and Ordinances of Parliament made for 
the sale or other disposition of the lands, rents and hereditaments of 
the late King, Queen, and Prince, of Archbishops and Bishops, &c., 
Deans and Chapters, the lands of delinquents and forest-lands, or 
any of them, or of any other lands, tenements, rents and heredita- 
ments belonging to the Commonwealth, shall nowise be impeached 
or made invalid, but shall remain good and firm; and that the securi- 
ties given by Act and Ordinance of Parliament for any sum or sums 
of money, by any of the said lands, the excise, or any other public 
revenue; and also the securities given by the public faith of the 
nation, and the engagement of the public faith for satisfaction of 
debts and damages, shall remain firm and good, and not be made 
void and invalid upon any pretence whatsoever. 

XL. That the Articles given to or made with the enemy, and 
afterwards confirmed by parliament, shall be performed and made 
good to the persons concerned therein; and that such appeals as were 
depending in the last Parliament for relief concerning bills of sale of 
delinquent's estates, may be heard and determined the next Parlia- 


ment, any thing in this writing or otherwise to the contrary not- 

XLI. That every successive Lord Protector over these nations shall 
take and subscribe a solemn oath, in the presence of the Council, and 
such others as they shall call to them, that he will seek the peace, 
quiet and welfare of these nations, cause law and justice to be equally 
administered; and that he will not violate or infringe the matters and 
things contained in this writing, and in all other things will, to his 
power and to the best of his understanding, govern these nations 
according to the laws, statutes and customs thereof. 

XLIL That each person of the Council shall, before they enter 
upon their trust, take and subscribe an oath, that they will be true 
and faithful in their trust, according to the best of their knowledge; 
and that in the election of every successive Lord Protector they shall 
proceed therein impartially, and do nothing therein for any promise, 
fear, favour or reward. 



[In 1656, Oomwell issued a proclamation for a general fast to consider the 
cause of the continued distracted condition of Britain. In response, Sir Henry Vane, 
previously Governor of Massachusetts, and one of the most high-minded statesmen 
of the period of the Commonwealth in England, published the following tract, 
expounding the principles of civil and religious liberty, and proposing that method 
of forming a constitution, through a convention called for the purpose, which was 
actually followed in America after the Revolution.] 


THE question propounded is, What possibility doth yet 
remain (all things considered) of reconciling and uniting 
the dissenting judgments of honest men within the three 
nations, who still pretend to agree in the spirit, justice, and reason 
of the same good cause, and what is the means to effect this? 

Answ. If it be taken for granted (as, on the magistrate's part, from 
the ground inviting the people of England and Wales to a solemn 
day of fasting and humiliation, may not be despaired of) that all 
the dissenting parties agree still in the spirit and reason of the same 
righteous cause, the resolution seems very clear in the affirmative; 
arguing not only for a possibility, but a great probability hereof; 
nay, a necessity daily approaching nearer and nearer to compel it, 
if any or all of the dissenting parties intend or desire to be v safc 
from the danger of the common enemy, who is not out of work, 
though at present much out of sight and observation. 

The grounds of this are briefly these: First, the cause hath still the 
same goodness in it as ever, and /is, or ought to be, as much in the 
hearts of all good people that have adhered to it: it is not less to be 
valued now, than when neither blood nor treasure were thought too 
dear to carry it on, and hold it up from sinking; and hath the same 
omnipotent God, whose great name is concerned in it, as well as 



his people's outward safety and welfare; who knows, also, how to 
give a revival to it when secondary instruments and visible means 
fail or prove deceitful. 

Secondly, The persons concerned and engaged in this cause are 
still the same as before, with the advantage of being more tried, 
more inured to danger and hardship, and more endeared to one 
another, by their various and great experiences, as well of their own 
hearts as their fellow-brethren. These are the same still in heart and 
desire after the same thing, which is, that, being freed out of the 
hands of their enemies, they may serve the Lord without fear, in 
holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. 

As they have had this great good finally in their aims (if declara- 
tions to men and appeals to God signify anything), so, as a requisite 
to attain this, they did with great cheerfulness and unanimity draw 
out themselves to the utmost in the maintenance of a war, when all 
other means, first essayed, proved ineffectual. In the management of 
this war, it pleased God, the righteous Judge (who was appealed to 
in the controversy), so to bless the counsel and forces of the persons 
concerned and engaged in this cause, as in the end to make them 
absolute and complete conquerors over their common enemy; and 
by this means they had added unto the natural right which was in 
them before (and so declared by their representatives in Parliament 
assembled), the right of conquest, for the strengthening of their just 
claim to be governed by national councils, and successive representa- 
tives of their own election and setting up. This they once thought 
they had been in possession of, when it was ratified, as it were, in the 
blood of the last king. But of late a great interruption having hap- 
pened unto them in their former expectations, and, instead thereof, 
something rising up that seems rather accommodated to the private 
and selfish interest of a particular part (in comparison) than truly 
adequate to the common good and concern of the whole body en- 
gaged in this cause: hence it is that this compacted body is now fall- 
ing asunder into many dissenting parts (a thing not unforeseen nor 
unhoped for by the common enemy all along as their last relief) ; 
and if these breaches be not timely healed, and the offences (before 
they take too deep root) removed, they will certainly work more to 
the advantage of the common enemy than any of their own 


unwearied endeavours and dangerous contrivances in foreign parts 
put all together. 

A serious discussion and sober enlarging upon these grounds will 
quickly give an insight into the state of the question, and naturally 
tend to a plain and familiar resolution thereof. 

That which is first to be opened is the nature and goodness of the 
cause; which, had it not carried in it its own evidence, would scarce 
have found so many of the people of God adherers to it within 
the three nations, contributing either their counsels, their purses, their 
bodily pains, or their affections and prayers, as a combined strength; 
without which, the military force alone would have been little avail- 
able to subdue the common enemy, and restore to this whole body 
their just natural rights in civil things, and true freedom in matters 
of conscience. 

The two last-mentioned particulars, rightly stated, will evidence 
sufficiently the nature and goodness of this cause. 

For the first <5f these, that is to say, the natural right, which the 
whole party of honest men adhering to this cause are by success 
of their arms restored unto, fortified in, and may claim as their 
undeniable privilege, that righteously cannot be taken from them, 
nor they debarred from bringing into exercise, it lies in this: 

They are to have and enjoy the freedom (by way of dutiful com- 
pliance and condescension from all the parts and members of this 
society) to set up meet persons in the place of supreme judicature 
and authority among them, whereby they may have the use and 
benefit of the choicest light and wisdom of the nation that they are 
capable to call forth, for the rule and government under which they 
will live; and through the orderly exercise of such measure of 
wisdom and counsel as the Lord in this way shall please to give 
unto them, to shape and form all subordinate actings and adminis- 
trations of rule and government so as shall best answer the public 
welfare and safety of the whole. , 

This, in substance, is the right and freedom contained in the nature 
and goodness of the cause wherein the honest party have been 
engaged; for in this all the particulars of our civil right and freedom 
are comprehended, conserved in, and derived from their proper root; 
in which, while they grow, they will ever thrive, flourish, and 


increase; whereas, on the contrary, if there be never so many fair 
branches of liberty planted on the root of a private and selfish inter- 
est, they will not long prosper, but must, within a little time, wither 
and degenerate into the nature of that whereinto they are planted; 
and hence, indeed, sprung the evil of that government which rose in 
and with the Norman Conquest. 

The root and bottom upon which it stood was not public interest, 
but the private lust and will of the conqueror, who by force of arms 
did at first detain the right and freedom which was and is due to 
the whole body of the people; for whose safety and good, govern- 
ment itself is ordained by God, not for the particular benefit of the 
rulers, as a distinct and private interest of their own; which yet, for 
the most part, is not only preferred before the common good, but 
upheld in opposition thereunto. And as at first the conqueror did, 
by violence and force, deny this freedom to the people, which was 
their natural right and privilege, so he and his successors all along 
lay as bars and impediments to the true national interest and public 
good, in the very national councils and assemblies themselves, which 
were constituted in such a manner as most served for the upholding 
of the private interest of their families; and this being challenged 
by them as their prerogative, was found by the people assembled 
in Parliament most unrighteous, burdensome, and destructive to 
their liberty. And when they once perceived that by this engine all 
their just rights were like to be destroyed especially (being backed,, 
as it was, with the power of the militia, which the late king, for 
that purpose, had assumed into his hands, and would not, upon the 
people's application to him in Parliament, part with into the hands 
of that great council, who were best to be intrusted with the nation's 
safety), this was the ground of the quarrel, upon a civil account 
between the king and his party, and the whole body of adherents 
to the cause of the people's true liberty; whereof this short touch 
hath been given, and shall suffice for the opening of the first branch 
of this clause. 

The second branch which remains briefly to be handled is that 
which also upon the grounds of natural right is to be laid claim 
unto, but distinguishes itself from the former as it respects a more 
heavenly and excellent object wherein the freedom is to be exercised 


and enjoyed, that is to say, matters of religion, or that concern the 
service and worship of God. 

Unto this freedom the nations of the world have right and title 
by the purchase of Christ's blood, who, by virtue of his death and 
resurrection, is become the sole Lord and Ruler in and over the 
conscience; for to this end Christ died, rose, and revived, that he 
might be Lord both of the dead and of the living, and that every 
one might give an account of himself, in all matters of God's wor- 
ship unto God and Christ alone, as their own Master, unto whom 
they stand or fall in judgment, and are not in these things to be 
oppressed, or brought before the judgment-seats of men. For why 
shouldst thou set at naught thy brother in matters of his faith and 
conscience, and herein intrude into the proper office of Christ, since 
we are all to stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, whether governors 
or governed, and by his decision only are capable of being declared 
with certainty to be in the right or in the wrong? 

By virtue, then, of this supreme law, sealed and confirmed in 
the blood of Christ unto all men (whose souls he challenges a 
propriety in, to bring under his inward rule in the service and wor- 
ship of God), it is that all magistrates are to fear and forbear inter- 
meddling with giving rule or imposing in those matters. They are 
to content themselves with what is plain in their commission, as 
ordained of God to be his minister unto men for good, while they 
approve themselves the doers of that which is good in the sight of 
men, and whereof earthly and worldly judicatures are capable to 
make a clear and perfect judgment: in which case the magistrate is 
to be for praise and protection to them. In like manner, he is to be 
a minister of terror and revenge to those that do evil in matters of 
outward practice, converse, and dealings in the things of this life 
between man and man, for the cause whereof the judicatures of 
men are appointed and set up. But to exceed these limits, as it is 
not safe or warrantable for the magistrate (in that he who is higher 
than the highest, regards, and will show himself displeased at it), 
so neither is it good for the people, who hereby are nourished up in 
a biting, devouring, wrathful spirit one against another, and are 
found transgressors of that royal law which forbids us to do that 


unto another which we would not have them do unto us, were we 
in their condition. 

This freedom, then, is of high concern to be had and enjoyed, 
as well for the magistrate's sake as for the people's common good; 
and it consists, as hath been said, in the magistrate forbearing to put 
forth the power of rule and coercion in things that God hath ex- 
empted out of his commission: so that all care requisite for the 
people's obtaining this may be exercised with great ease, if it be 
taken in its proper season, and that this restraint be laid upon the 
supreme power before it be erected, as a fundamental constitution, 
among others, upon which the free consent of the people is given, 
to have the persons brought into the exercise of supreme authority 
over them and on their behalf; and if, besides, as a further confirma- 
tion hereunto, it be acknowledged the voluntary act of the ruling 
power, when once brought into a capacity of acting legislatively, 
that herein they are bound up, and judge it their duty so to be 
(both in reference to God, the institutor of magistracy, and in refer- 
ence to the whole body by whom they are intrusted), this great 
blessing will hereby be so well provided for that we shall have no 
cause to fear, as it may be ordered. 

By this means a great part of the outward exercise of anti-Christian 
tyranny and bondage will be plucked up by the very roots, which, 
till some such course be held in it, will be always apt to renew and 
sprout out afresh, under some new form or refined appearances, as 
by late years' experience we have been taught: for, since the fall of 
the bishops and persecuting presbyteries, the same spirit is apt to 
arise in the next sort of clergy that can get the ear of the magistrate, 
and pretend to the keeping and ruling the conscience of the gover- 
nors, although this spirit and practice hath been all along decried by 
the faithful adherents to this cause as a most sore oppression 
and insufferable yoke of bondage, most unrighteously kept up 
over the consciences of the people, and therefore judged by them 
most needful to be taken out of the way; and in this matter the 
present governors have been willing very eminently to give their 
testimony in their public declarations, however in practice there is 
much of grievance yet found among us, though more, in probability, 


from the officiousness of subordinate ministers than any clear purpose 
or design of the chief in power. 

Having thus showed what the true freedom is, in both the 
branches of it, that shines forth in the righteous cause, wherein the 
good people of these nations have so deeply engaged, it will not be 
improper, in the next place, to consider two particulars more that 
give still farther light into the matter in question, as, first, the qualifi- 
cations of the persons that have adhered to this cause; secondly, the 
capacity wherein they have been found from time to time carrying 
it on. 

As to their qualification, they have, in the general, distinguished 
themselves and been made known by a forwardness to assist and 
own the public welfare and good of the nation, for the attaining 
and preserving the just rights and liberties thereof, asserted and 
witnessed unto in the true stating of this cause, according to the two 
branches thereof already spoken to. They have showed themselves, 
upon all occasions, desirers and lovers of true freedom, either in 
civils or in spirituals, or in both. To express their value thereof, and 
faithfulness to the same, they have largely contributed, in one kind 
or other, what was proper to each in his place to do; which actions 
of theirs proceeding from hearts sincerely affected to the cause, 
created in them a right to be of an incorporation and society by 
themselves, under the name of the good party, having been from 
the beginning unto this day publicly and commonly so acknowl- 
edged, by way of distinction from all neuters, close and open enemies, 
and deceitful friends or apostates. These, in order to the maintain- 
ing of this cause, have stood by the army, in defence and support 
thereof, against all opposition whatever, as those that, by the grow- 
ing light of these times, have been taught and led forth in their 
experiences to look above and beyond the letter, form, and outward 
circumstances of government, into the inward reason and spirit 
thereof, herein only to fix and terminate, to the leaving behind all 
empty shadows that would obtrude themselves in the place of true 

Secondly, as to the capacity wherein these persons, thus qualified, 
have acted, it hath been very variable, and subject to great changes: 
sometimes in one form, and sometimes in another, and very seldom, 


if ever at all, so exactly and in all points consonant to the rule of 
former laws and constitutions of government as to be clearly and 
fully justified by them any longer than the law of success and con- 
quest did uphold them who had the inward warrant of justice and 
righteousness to encourage them in such their actings. 

The utmost and last reserve, therefore, which they have had, in case 
all other failed, hath been their military capacity, not only strictly 
taken for the standing army, but in the largest sense, wherein the 
whole party may (with the army, and under that military constitu- 
tion and conduct which, by the providence of God, they shall then 
be found in) associate themselves in the best order they can for the 
common defence and safety of the whole; as not ignorant that when 
once embodied in this their military posture, in such manner as by 
common consent shall be found requisite for the safety of the body, 
they are most irresistible, absolute, and comprehensive in their 
power, having that wherein the substance of all government is con- 
tained, and under the protection whereof, and safety that may be 
maintained thereby, they can contrive and determine in what man- 
ner this irresistible, absolute, and boundless power, unto which they 
are now arrived in this their military capacity, shall have just and 
due limits set unto it, and be drawn out in a meet and orderly way 
of exercise for the commonweal and safety of the whole body, under 
the rule and oversight of a supreme judicature, unto the wisdom 
of whose laws and orders the sword is to become most entirely 
subject and subservient; and this without the least cause of jealousy 
or unsafety, either to the standing army, or any member thereof, or 
unto the good people adhering to this cause, or any of them, since 
the interest of both, by this mutual action of either, will be so com- 
bined together in one (even in that wherein before they were 
distinct), that all just cause of difference, fear, animosity, emulation, 
jealousy, or the like, will be wholly abolished and removed. 

For when once the whole body of the good people find that the 
military interest and capacity is their own, and that into which 
necessity at the last may bring the whole party (whereof, of right, 
a place is to be reserved for them), and that herein they are so far 
from being in subjection or slavery, that in this posture they are most 
properly sovereign, and possess their right of natural sovereignty, 


they will presently see a necessity of continuing ever one with their 
army, raised and maintained by them for the promoting this cause 
against the common enemy, who in his next attempt will put for 
all with greater desperateness and rage than ever. 

Again, when once the standing army and their governors shall 
also find that, by setting and keeping up themselves in a divided 
interest from the rest of the body of honest men, they withhold from 
themselves those contributions in all voluntary and cheerful as- 
sistances, by the affections and prayers, by the persons and purses 
of the good party, to the weakening themselves thereby, as to any 
vigorous support from them, in the times of most imminent danger 
(whereof the late king had an experience, that will not suddenly 
be out of memory, when he undertook the war, in the beginning 
of these troubles, against the Scots, and was, in a manner, therein 
deserted by all the good party in England), they will then find (if 
they stay not till it be too late) that, by espousing the interest of 
the people, in submitting themselves with their fellow-adherents 
to the cause, under the rule and authority of their own supreme 
judicature, they lose not their power or sovereignty, but, becoming 
one civil or politic incorporation with the whole party of honest 
men, they do therein keep the sovereignty, as originally seated in 
themselves, and part with it only but as by deputation and repre- 
sentation of themselves, when it is brought into an orderly way of 
exercise, by being put into the hands of persons chosen and in- 
trusted by themselves to that purpose. 

By this mutual and happy transition, which may be made between 
the party of honest men in the three nations virtually in arms, and 
those actually so now in power at the head of the army; how 
suddenly would the union of the whole body be consolidated, and 
made so firm as it will not need to fear all the designs and attempts 
of the common enemy, especially if herein they unite themselves 
in the first place to the Lord, as ^willing to follow his providence, 
and observe his will in the way and manner of bringing this to 
pass! in which case we shall not need to fear what all the gates 
of hell are able to do in opposition thereunto. 

It is not, then, the standing and being of the present army and 
military forces in the three nations that is liable to exception of of- 


fence from any dissenting judgments at this time among the honest, 
well-affected party. In and with them, under God, stand the wel- 
fare and outward safety of the whole body; and to be enemies to 
them, or wish them hurt, were to do it to themselves; and, by try- 
ing such conclusions, to play the game of the common enemy, to 
the utter ruin and destruction, not only of the true freedom aimed 
at and contended for in the late wars, but of the very persons them- 
selves that have been in any sort active or eminent promoters thereof. 

The army, considered as it is in the hands of an honest and wise 
general, and sober, faithful officers, embodied with the rest of the 
party of honest men, and espousing still the same cause, and acting 
in their primitive simplicity, humility, and trust, in reference to the 
welfare and safety of the whole body, is the only justifiable and most 
advantageous posture and capacity that the good party at present 
can find themselves in, in order to the obtaining that true freedom 
they have fought for, and possessing of it in the establishment 
thereof upon the true basis and foundation, as hath been showed, 
of right government. 

That wherein the offence lies, and which causes such great 
thoughts of heart among the honest party (if it may be freely 
expressed, as sure it may, when the magistrate himself professes he 
doth but desire and wait for conviction therein), is, in short, this: 

That when the right and privilege is returned, nay, is restored 
by conquest unto the whole body (that forfeited not their interest 
therein), of freely disposing themselves in such a constitution of 
righteous government as may best answer the ends held forth in 
this cause; that, nevertheless, either through delay they should be 
withheld as they are, or through design they should come at last 
to be utterly denied the exercise of this their right, upon pretence 
that they arc not in capacity as yet to use it, which, indeed, hath 
some truth in it, if those that are now in power, and have the com- 
mand of the arms, do not prepare all things requisite thereunto, as 
they may, and, like faithful guardians to the Commonwealth, admit- 
ted to be in its nonage, they ought. 

But if the bringing of true freedom into exercise among men, 
yea, so refined a party of men, be impossible, why hath this been 
concealed all this while? and why was it not thought on before 


so much blood was spilt, and treasure spent? Surely such a thing 
as this was judged real and practicable, not imaginary and no- 

Besides, why may it not suffice to have been thus long delayed 
and withheld from the whole body, at least as to its being brought 
by them into exercise now at last? Surely the longer it is withheld, 
the stronger jealousies do increase, that it is intended to be assumed 
and engrossed by a part only, to the leaving the rest of the body 
(who, in all reason and justice, ought to be equally participants with 
the other in the right and benefit of the conquest, for as much as 
the war was managed at the expense and for the safety of the whole) 
in a condition almost as much exposed, and subject to be imposed 
upon, as if they had been enemies and conquered, not in any sense 

If ever such an unrighteous, unkind, and deceitful dealing with 
brethren should happen, although it might continue above the 
reach of question from human judicature, yet can we think it pos- 
sible it should escape and go unpunished by the immediate hand of 
the righteous Judge of the whole world, when he ariseth out of his 
place to do right to the oppressed. 

Nay, if, instead of favouring and promoting the peopie s common 
good and welfare, self-interest and private gain should evidently 
appear to be the things we have aimed at all along; if those very 
tyrannical principles and anti-Christian relics, which God by us 
hath punished in our predecessors, should again revive, spring up 
afresh, and show themselves lodged also and retained in our bosoms, 
rendering us of the number of those that have forgot they were 
purged from their old sins, and declaring us to be such as, to please 
a covetous mind, do withhold from destruction that which God 
hath designed to the curse of his vengeance: if all those great ad- 
vantages of serving the Lord's will and design in procuring and 
advancing his people's true welfare and outward safety, which (as 
the fruit of his blessing upon our armies) have so miraculously 
fallen into our hands, shall at last be wrested and misimproved to 
the enriching and greatening of ourselves if these things should 
ever be found among us (which the Lord in mercy forbid!), shall 
we need to look any farther for the accursed thing? will not our 


consciences show us, from the light of the Word and Spirit of God, 
how near a conformity these actions would hold therewith? which 
sin (Josh., vii.) became a curse to the camp, and withheld the Lord 
from being any more among them, or going out with their forces. 
And did the action of Achan import any more than these two 
things: First, he saved and kept from destruction the goodly Baby- 
lonish garment, which was devoted by God thereunto; secondly, 
he brought not in the fruit and gain of the conquest into the Lord's 
treasury, but covetously went about to convert it to his own proper 
use? To do this is to take of the accursed thing, which (Josh., vii.) 
all Israel was said to do in the sin of Achan, and to have stolen and 
dissembled likewise, and put it among their own stuff. This caused 
the anger of the Lord to kindle against Israel, and made them 
unable to stand before their enemies, but their hearts melted as 
water. And thus far the Lord is concerned, if such an evil as this 
shall lie hid in the midst of us. But to return to what we were 
upon before. 

The matter which is in question among the dissenting parts of 
the whole body of honest men is not so trivial and of such small 
consequence as some would make it. 'Tis, in effect, the main and 
whole of the cause; without which all the freedom which the people 
have or can have is in comparison but shadow and in name only, 
and therefore can never give that peace and satisfaction to the body 
which is requisite unto a durable and solid settlement. This is that 
which makes all sound and safe at the root, and gives the right 
balance necessary to be held up between sovereignty and subjection 
in the exercise of all righteous government; applying the use of 
the sword to the promoting and upholding the public safety and 
welfare of the whole body, in preference, and, if need be, in op- 
position unto any of the parts; while yet, by its equal and impartial 
administration in reference unto each, it doth withal maintain the 
whole body in a most delightful harmony, welfare, and correspond- 
ency. The sword never can, nor is it to be expected ever will do 
this, while the sovereignty is admitted and placed anywhere else 
than in the whole bdy of the people that have adhered to the cause, 
and by them be derived unto their successive representatives, as the 
most equal and impartial judicature for the effecting hereof. 


Where there is, then, a righteous and good constitution of govern- 
ment, there is first, an orderly union of many understandings to- 
gether, as the public and common supreme judicature or visible 
sovereignty, set in a way of free and orderly exercise, for the direct- 
ing and applying the use of the ruling power or the sword, to pro- 
mote the interest and common welfare of the whole, without any 
disturbance or annoyance from within or from without; and then, 
secondly, there is a like union and readiness of will in all the individ- 
uals, in their private capacities, to execute and obey (by all the 
power requisite, and that they are able to put forth) those sovereign 
laws and orders issued out by their own deputies and trustees. 

A supreme judicature, thus made the representative of the whole, 
is that which, we say, will most naturally care, and most equally 
provide for the common good and safety. Though by this it is not 
denied but that the supreme power, when by free consent 'tis placed 
in a single person or in some few persons, may be capable also to 
administer righteous government; at least, the body that gives this 
liberty, when they need not, are to thank themselves if it prove 
otherwise. But when this free and natural access unto government 
is interrupted and declined, so as a liberty is taken by any particular 
member, or number of them, that are to be reputed but a part in 
comparison of the whole, to assume and engross the office of 
sovereign rule and power, and to impose themselves as the com- 
petent public judge of the safety and good of the whole, without 
their free and due consent, and to lay claim unto this, as those that 
find themselves possessed of the sword (and that so advantageously 
as it cannot be recovered again out of their hands without more 
apparent danger and damage to the whole body than such attempts 
are worth), this is that anarchy that is the first rise and step to 
tyranny, and lays grounds of manifest confusion and disorder, ex- 
posing the ruling power to the next hand that on the next op- 
portunity can lay hold on the sword, and so, by a kind of necessity, 
introduces the highest imposition and bondage upon the whole 
body, in compelling all the parts, though never so much against the 
true public interest, to serve and obey, as their sovereign rule and 
supreme authority, the arbitrary will and judgment of those that 
bring themselves into rule by the power of the sword, in the right 


only of a part that sets up itself in preference before, or at least in 
competition with, the welfare of the whole. 

And if this, which is so essential to the wellbeing and right con- 
stitution of government, were once obtained, the disputes about the 
form would not prove so difficult, nor find such opposition, as to 
keeping the bone of contention and disunion, with much danger 
to the whole; for if, as the foundation of all, the sovereignty be 
acknowledged to reside originally in the whole body of adherents 
to this cause (whose natural and inherent right thereunto is of a 
far ancienter date than what is obtained by success of their arms, and 
so cannot be abrogated even by conquest itself, if that were the 
case), and then if, in consequence hereof, a supreme judicature be 
set up and orderly constituted, as naturally arising and resulting 
from the free choice and consent of the whole body taken out from 
among themselves, as flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone, of 
the same public spirit and nature with themselves, and the main be 
by this means secured, what could be propounded afterward as to 
the form of administration that would much stick? 

Would a standing council of state, settled for life, in reference to 
the safety of the Commonwealth, and for the maintaining inter- 
course and commerce with foreign states, under the inspection and 
oversight of the supreme judicature, but of the same fundamental 
constitution with themselves would this be disliked? admitting 
their orders were binding, in the intervals of supreme national as- 
semblies, so far only as consonant to the settled laws of the Common- 
wealth, the vacancy of any of which, by death or otherwise, might 
be supplied by the vote of the major part of themselves: nay, would 
there be any just exception to be taken if (besides both these) it 
should be agreed (as another part of the fundamental constitution 
of the government) to place that branch of sovereignty which chiefly 
respects the execution of laws in a distinct office from that of the 
legislative power (and yet subordinate to them and to the laws), 
capable to be intrusted into the hands of one single person, if need 
require, or in a greater number, as the legislative power should 
think fit; and, for the greater strength and honour unto this office, 
that the execution of all laws and orders (that are binding) may go 
forth in his or their name, and all disobedience thereunto, or con- 


tempt thereof, be taken as done to the people's sovereignty, whereof 
he or they bear the image or representation, subordinate to the 
legislative power, and at their will to be kept up and continued in 
the hands of a single person or more, as the experience of the future 
good or evil of it shall require? 

Would such an office as this, thus stated, carry in it any inconsist- 
ency with a free state? Nay, if it be well considered, would it not 
rather be found of excellent use to the wellbeing of magistracy, 
founded upon this righteous bottom, that such a lieutenancy of the 
people's sovereignty in these three nations may always reside in 
some one or more person, in whose administration that which is 
reward and punishment may shine forth? 

And if now it shall be objected that (notwithstanding all these 
cautions), should once this sovereignty be acknowledged to be in 
the diffused body of the people (though the adherents to this cause, 
not only as their natural, but as their acquired right by conquest), 
they would suddenly put the use and exercise of the legislative 
power into such hands as would, through their ill qualifiedness to 
the work, spoil all by maladministration thereof, and hereby lose 
the cause instead of upholding and maintaining it. 

The answer unto this is, first, that God, by his providence, hath 
eased our minds much in this solicitude by the course he hath 
already taken to fit and prepare a choice and selected number of 
the people unto this work, that are tried and refined by their inward 
and outward experiences in this great quarrel, and the many 
changes they have passed through; in respect whereof well qualified 
persons are to be found, if due care be but taken in the choice of 
them. And if herein this people of the Lord shall be waiting upon 
him for his guidance and presence with them, we may have grounds 
and hope that God (whose name hath all along been called upon 
in the maintaining of this cause) will pour out so abundantly of 
his spirit upon his people attending on him in righteous ways, and 
will also move their hearts to choose persons bearing his image 
into the magistracy, that a more glorious product may spring up 
out of this than at first we can expect, to the setting up of the Lord 
himself as chief judge and lawgiver among us. And unto this the 
wisdom and honesty of the persons now in power may have an 


opportunity eminently to come into discovery; for in this case, and 
upon the grounds already laid, the very persons now in power are 
they unto whose lot it would fall to set about this preparatory work, 
and by their orders and directions to dispose the whole body, and 
bring them into the meetest capacity to effect the same, the most 
natural way for which would seem to be by a general council, or 
convention of faithful, honest, and discerning men, chosen for that 
purpose by the free consent of the whole body of adherents to this 
cause in the several parts of the nations, and observing the time and 
place of meeting appointed to them (with other circumstances con- 
cerning their election ) by order from the present ruling power, but 
considered as general of the army: 

Which convention is not properly to exercise the legislative power, 
but only to debate freely, and agree upon the particulars that by 
way of fundamental constitutions shall be laid and inviolably ob- 
served as the conditions upon which the whole body so represented 
doth consent to cast itself into a civil and politic incorporation, and 
under the visible form and administration of government therein 
declared, and to be by each individual member of the body sub- 
scribed in testimony of his or their particular consent given there- 
unto: which conditions so agreed (and among them an Act of Ob- 
livion for one) will be without danger of being broken or departed 
from, considering of what it is they are the conditions, and the nature 
of the convention wherein they are made, which is of the people 
represented in their highest state of sovereignty, as they have the 
sword in their hands unsubjected unto the rules of civil govern- 
ment, but what themselves orderly assembled for that purpose do 
think fit to make. And the sword, upon these conditions, subjecting 
itself to the supreme judicature thus to be set up, how suddenly 
might harmony, righteousness, love, peace, and safety unto the 
whole body follow hereupon, as the happy fruit of such a settlement, 
if the Lord have any delight to be among us! 

And this once put in a way, and declared for by the general and 
army (as that which they are clearly convinced, in the sight of God, 
is their duty to bring about, and which they engage accordingly 
to see done) how firmly and freely would this oblige the hearts 
and persons, the counsels and purses, the affections and prayers, 


with all that is in the power of this whole party to do, in way of 
assistance and strengthening the hands of those now in power, 
whatever straits and difficulties they may meet with in the mainte- 
nance of the public safety and peace! 

This, then, being the state of our present affairs and differences, 
let it be acknowledged on all hands, and let all be convinced that 
are concerned, that there is not only a possibility, but a probability, 
yea, a compelling necessity, of a firm union in this great body, the 
setting of which in joint and tune again, by a spirit of meekness 
and fear of the Lord, is the work of the present day, and will prove 
the only remedy under God to uphold and carry on this blessed 
cause and work of the Lord in the three nations, that is already 
come thus far onward in its progress to its desired and expected 
end of bringing in Christ, the desire of all nations, as the chief 
Ruler among us. 

Now unto this reuniting work let there be a readiness in all the 
dissenting parts From the highest to the lowest, by cheerfully coming 
forth to one another in a spirit of self-denial and love instead of war 
and wrath, and to cast down themselves before the Lord, who is 
the father of all their spirits, in self-abasement and humiliation, for 
the mutual offence they have been in, for some time past, one unto 
another, and great provocation unto God, and reproach unto his 
most glorious name, who expected to have been served by them 
with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire. 

And, as an inducement unto this, let us assure ourselves the 
means of effecting it will not prove so difficult as other things that 
have been brought about in the late war, if the minds and spirits 
of all concerned were once well and duly prepared hereunto by a 
kindly work of self-denial and self-abasement, set home by the spirit 
of the Lord upon their consciences, which, if he please, he may do 
we know not how soon: nay, we shall behold with a discerning eye 
the inside of that work which G9d hath been doing among us the 
three years last past: it would seem chiefly to have been his aim 
to bring his people into such a frame as this; for in this tract of 
time there hath been (as we may say) a great silence in heaven, 
as if God were pleased to stand still and be as a looker on, to see 
what his people would be in their latter end, and what work they 


would make of it, if left to their own wisdom and politic con- 
trivances. And as God hath had the silent part, so men, and that 
good men too, have had the active and busy part, and have, like 
themselves, made a great sound and noise, like the shout of a king 
in a mighty host; which, while it hath been a sound only and no 
more, hath not done much hurt as yet; but the fear and jealousy 
thereby caused, hath put the whole body out of frame, and made 
them apt to fall into great confusions and disorder. 

And if there be thus arisen a general dissent and disagreement 
of parts (which is not, nor ought to be, accounted the less consider- 
able because it lies hid and kept in under a patient silence), why 
should there not be as general a confession and acknowledgment 
of what each may find themselves overtaken in, and cannot but 
judge themselves faulty for? this kind of vent being much better 
than to have it break out in flames of a forward and untimely 
wrathful spirit, which never works the righteousness of God, espe- 
cially since what hath been done among us may probably have been 
more the effect of temptation than the product of any malicious 
design; and this sort of temptation is very common and incident to 
men in power (how good soever they may be) to be overtaken in, 
and thereupon do sudden unadvised actions, which the Lord pardons 
and overrules for the best, evidently making appear that it is the 
work of the weak and fleshly part, which his own people carry 
about with them too much unsubdued; and therefore the Lord 
thinks fit, by this means, to show them the need of being beholden 
to their spiritual part to restore them again, and bring them into 
their right temper and healthful constitution. 

And thus, while each dissenting part is aggravating upon it self- 
faultiness and blame, and none excusing, but all confessing they 
deserve, in one sort or other, reproof, if not before men, yet in God's 
sight, who knows how soon it may please God to come into this 
broken, contrite, and self-denying frame of spirit in the good people 
within the three nations, and own them, thus truly humbled and 
abased, for his temple and the place of his habitation and rest, where- 
in he shall abide forever? of whom it may be said, God is in the 
midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that 
right early, or with his morning appearance; at which time he will 


sit silent no longer, but Heaven will speak again, and become active 
and powerful in the spirits and hearts of honest men, and in the 
works of his providences, when either they go out to fight by sea or 
by land, or remain in council and debates at home for the public 
weal, and again hear the prayers of his people, and visibly own them 
as a flock of holy men, as Jerusalem in her solemn feasts: "I will 
yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, saith the Lord, to 
do it for them: and then they shall know that I the Lord their God 
am with them, and that they are my people, and that ye my flock, 
the flock of my pasture, are men that have showed yourselves weak, 
sinful men, and I am your God, that have declared myself an all- 
wise and powerful God, saith the Lord God/* 


READER, Upon the perusal of this discourse, thou wilt quickly 
perceive that these two things are principally aimed at in it by the 
author: First, tp answer in some measure that which is called for 
by those in power, when they publicly profess they desire nothing 
more than conviction, and to find out the hidden provocations which 
either have or yet may bring forth the Lord against these nations, 
in the way which at present they are in. 

Secondly, to remove out of the minds and spirits of the honest 
party, that still agree in the reason and justice of the good old cause, 
all things of a private nature and selfish concern (the tendency 
whereof serves but to foment and strengthen wrath and divisions 
among them), and in place thereof to set before them that common 
and public interest, which, if with sincerity embraced, may be the 
means of not only procuring a firm union among them, but also of 
conserving them herein. 

In order to do this, the author hath not been willing so much 
to declare his own opinion, or deliver any positive conclusions, as 
to discuss the business by way of question and answer, and thereby 
make as near a conjecture as he dm of that wherein the several dis- 
senting parts may with better satisfaction meet together, and agree 
upon a safe and righteous bottom, than to remain at the distance 
they do, to the apparent advantage of the common enemy, the ap- 
proaching ruin of themselves, and needless hazard, if not loss, of 


the cause they have been so deeply engaged in; especially considering 
that, when once they shall be found beginning to come forth to 
one another in such a condescending, self-denying spirit, cleansed 
from the stain of hypocrisy and deceit, they may be well assured 
that light will spring up among them more and more unto a 
perfect day; and then those things which at present we have next 
in view, will prove as shadows ready to flee away before the morning 
brightness of Christ's heavenly appearance and second coming, 
through which they will be heightened and improved to their full 
maturity, to the bringing in that kingdom of his that shall never 
be moved. 

And because an essay hath been already made in a private way 
to obtain the first thing, that is to say, conviction, which chiefly is 
in the hand of the Lord to give, the same obligation lies upon the 
author, with respect to the second, for the exposing of it as now it is 
unto public view, and therein leaving it also with the Lord for his 
blessing thereunto. 



[John Eliot (1604-1690), "The Apostle to the Indians," came to New England 
in 1631, and began his ministrations to the Indians in their own language in 1646. 
His great work, the translation of the Bible into the tongue of the Massachusetts 
Indians, was fmubed in i6sH and published iMn-6^. He wrote a number of 
reports on the progress of Christianity among the Indians, of which the Brief Narra- 
tive was the last. This pamphlet giveji an interesting picture of the conditions of 
evangelisation among the natives at the end of the first generation of intercourse 
with the colonists. The movement which was so vigorously started by Eliot was 
checked before his death by King Philip's war, 1675-6.] 



THAT brief Tract of the present state of the Indian-Wor^ 
in my hand, which I did the last year on the sudden present 
you with when you call'd for such a thing; That falling 
short of its end, and you calling for a renewal thereof, with op- 
portunity of more time, I shall begin with our last great motion in 
that Work done this Summer, because that will lead me to begin 
with the state of the Indians under the hands of my Brethren Mr. 
Mahcw and Mr. Bourn. 

Upon the i7th day of the 6th month, 1670, there was a Meeting at 
Maktapog near Sandwich in Plimoutfi-Pattent, to gather a Church 
among the Indians: There were present six of the Magistrates, and 
many Elders, (all of them Messengers of the Churches within that 
Jurisdiction) in whose presence, in a day of Fasting and Prayer, 

1 The full title of this tract was as follows: 

A Brief Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel amongst the Indians in New Eng- 
land, in the Year 1670, given * n by tne Reverend Mr. JOHN Ki.ior, Minister of the 
Gospel there, in a LFTTF.R by him directed to the Righr Worshipfull the COMMISSION! RS 
under his Majesties Great-Seal for Propagation of the Gmpol amongst the poor blind 
Natives in those United Colonies. LONDON, Printed for John Allen, formerly living 
in Little -Britain at the Rising -Sun, and now in Wentworth street near Bell-Lane, 1671. 


they making confession of the Truth and Grace of Jesus Christ, did 
in that solemn Assembly enter into Covenant, to walk together in 
the Faith and Order of the Gospel; and were accepted and declared 
to be a Church of Jesus Christ. These Indians being of kin to our 
Massachuset-lndians who first prayed unto God, conversed with 
them, and received amongst them the light and love of the Truth; 
they desired me to write to Mr. Lever edge to teach them: He ac- 
cepted the Motion: and performed the Work with good success; but 
afterwards he left that place, and went to Long-Island, and there a 
godly Brother, named Richard Bourne (who purposed to remove 
with Mr. Leveredge, but hindered by Divine Providence) undertook 
the teaching of those Indians, and hath continued in the work with 
good success to this day; him we ordained Pastor: and one of the 
Indians, named ]ude, should have been ordained Ruling-Elder, but 
being sick at that time, advice was given that he should be ordained 
with the first opportunity, as also a Deacon to manage the present 
Sabbath-day Collections, and other [4] parts of that Office in their 
season. The same day also were they, and such of their Children 
as were present, baptized. 

From them we passed over to the Vineyard, where many were 
added to the Church both men and women, and were baptized all 
of them, and their Children also with them; we had the Sacrament 
of the Lords Supper celebrated in the Indian-Church, and many of 
the English-Church gladly joyned with them; for which cause it 
was celebrated in both languages. On a day of Fasting and Prayer, 
Elders were ordained, two Teaching-Elders, the one to be a Preacher 
of the Gospel, to do the Office of a Pastor and Teacher; the other 
to be a Preacher of the Gospel, to do the Office of a Teacher and 
Pastor, as the Lord should give them ability and opportunity; Also 
two Ruling-Elders, with advice to ordain Deacons also, for the 
Service of Christ in the Church. Things were so ordered by the 
Lord's guidance, that a Foundation is laid for two Churches more; 
for first, these of the Vineyard dwelling at too great a distance to 
enjoy with comfort their Sabbath-communion in one place, Advice 
was given them, that after some experience of walking together in 
the Order and Ordinances of the Gospel, they should issue forth 
into another Church; and the Officers are so chosen, that when they 


shall do so, both Places are furnished with a Teaching and Ruling- 

Also the Teacher of the Praying Indians of Nantnl(et f with a 
Brother of his were received here, who made good Confessions of 
Jesus Christ; and being asked, did make report unto us that there 
be about ninety Families who pray unto God in that Island, so 
effectual is the Light of the Gospel among them. Advice was given, 
that some of the chief Godly People should joyn to this Church, 
(for they frequently converse together, though the Islands be seven 
leagues asunder) and after some experience of walking in the Order 
of the Gospel, they should issue forth into Church-estate among 
themselves, and have Officers ordained amongst them. 

The Church of the Vineyard were desirous to have chosen Mr. 
Mahcw to be their Pastor: but he declined it, conceiving that in 
his present capacity he lieth under greater advantages to stand their 
Friend, and do them good, to save them from the hands of such as 
would bereave them of their Lands, &c., but they shall alwayes have 
his counsel, instruction and management in all their Church-affairs, 
as hitherto they have had; he will die in this service of Jesus Christ. 
The Praying-Indians of both these islands depend on him, as God's 
Instrument for their good. [5] Advice also was given for the setting 
of Schools; every Child capable of learning, equally paying, whether 
he make use of it or no: Yet if any should sinfully neglect Schooling 
their Youth, it is a transgression liable to censure under both Orders, 
Civil and Ecclesiastical, the offence being against both. So we walk 
at Naticl^. 

In as much as now we have ordained Indian Officers unto the 
Ministry of the Gospel, it is needful to add a word or two of Apol- 
ogy: I find it hopeless to expect English Officers in our Indian 
Churches; the work is full of hardship, hard labour, and chargeable 
also, and the Indians not yet capable to give considerable support and 
maintenance; and Men have bodies, and must live of the Gospel: 
And what comes from England is liable to hazard and uncertainties. 
On such grounds as these partly, but especially from the secret wise 
governance of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Harvest, there is no ap- 
pearance of hope for their souls feeding in that way: they must be 
trained up to be able to live of themselves in the ways of the Gospel 


of Christ; and through the riches of God's Grace and Love, sundry 
of themselves who are expert in the Scriptures, are able to teach each 
other : An English young man raw in that language, coming to teach 
among our Christian-Indians, would be much to their loss; there be 
of themselves such as be more able, especially being advantaged 
that he speaketh his own language, and knoweth their manners. 
Such English as shall hereafter teach them, must begin with a 
People that begin to pray unto God, (and such opportunities we 
have many) and then as they grow in knowledge, he will grow (if 
he be diligent) in ability of speeth to communicate the knowledge 
of Christ unto them. And seeing they must have Teachers amongst 
themselves, they must also be taught to be Teachers: for which 
cause I have begun to teach them the Art of Teaching, and I find 
some of them very capable. And while I live, my purpose is, (by 
the grace of Christ assisting) to make it one of my chief cares and 
labours to teach them some of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, and 
the way how to analize, and lay out into particulars both the Works 
and Word of God; and how to communicate knowledge to others 
methodically and skilfully, and especially the method of Divinity. 
There be sundry Ministers who live in an opportunity of beginning 
with a People, and for time to come I shall cease my importuning 
of others, and onely fall to perswade such unto this service of Jesus 
Christ, it being one part of our Ministerial Charge to preach to the 
World in the Name of Jesus, and from amongst them to gather 
Subjects to his holy Kingdom. The Bible, and the Catechism 
drawn [6] out of the Bible, are general helps to all parts and places 
about us, and are the ground-work of Community amongst all our 
Indian-Churches and Christians. 

I find a blessing, when our Church of Natict^ doth send forth fit 
Persons unto some remoter places, to teach them the fear of the 
Lord. But we want maintenance for that Service; it is a chargeable 
matter to send a Man from his Family: The Labourer is worthy of 
his Hire: And when they go only to the High-wayes and Hedges, 
it is not to be expected that they should reward them: If they be- 
lieve and obey their Message, it is enough. We are determined to 
send forth some (if the Lord will, and that we live) this Autumn, 
sundry ways. I see the best way is, up and be doing: In all labour 


there is profit; Seel( and yc shall find. We have Christ's Example, 
his Promise, his Presence, his Spirit to assist; and I trust that the 
Lord will find a way for your encouragement. 

Natic^ is our chief Town, where most and chief of our Rulers, 
and most of the Church dwells; here most of our chief Courts are 
kept; and the Sacraments in the Church are for the most part here 
administred: It is (by the Divine Providence) seated well near in 
the center of all our praying Indians, though Westward the Cords 
of Christ's Tents are more enlarged. Here we began Civil Govern- 
ment in the year 1650. And here usually are kept the General- 
Trainings, which seven years ago looked so big that we never had 
one since till this year, and it was at this time but a small appearance. 
Here we have two Teachers, John Speen and Anthony; we have 
betwixt forty and fifty Communicants at the Lord's Table, when 
they all appear, but now, some are dead, and some decriped with 
age; and one under Censure, yet making towards a recovery; one 
died here the last Winter of the Stone, a temperate, sober, godly 
man, the first Indian that ever was known to have that disease; but 
now another hath the same disease: Sundry more are proposed, and 
in way of preparation to joyn unto the Church. 

Ponl(ipog t or Pakeunit, is our second Town, where the Sachems 
of the Bloud (as they term their Chief Royal-Line) had their 
Residence and Rights, which are mostly Alienated to the English 
Towns: The last Chief Man, of that Line, was last year slain by 
the Mauquzogs, against whom he rashly (without due Attendants 
and Assistance, and against Counsel) went; yet all, yea, his Enemies 
say, He died valiantly; they were more afraid to kill him, than he 
was to die; yet being de- [7] serted by all (some knowingly say 
through Treason) he stood long, and at last fell alone: Had he had 
but 10 Men, yea 5 in good order with him, he would have driven 
all his Enemies before him. His Brother was resident with us in 
this Town, but he is fallen into sin, and from praying to God. Our 
Chief Ruler is Ahauton, an old stedfast and trusty friend to the 
English, and loveth his Country. He is more loved than feared; 
the reins of his bridle are too long. Wafon is sometimes necessarily 
called to keep Courts here, to add life and zeal in the punishment 
of Sinners. Their late Teacher, William, is deceased; He was a 


man of eminent parts, all the English acknowledge him, and he was 
known to many: He was of a ready wit, sound judgment, and 
affable; he is gone unto the Lord; And William, the Son of Ahauton, 
is called to be Teacher in his stead. He is a promising young-man, 
of a single and upright heart, a good judgment, he Prayeth and 
Preacheth well, he is studious and industrious, and well accounted 
of among the English. 

Hassunnimesut is the next Town in order, dignity, and antiquity; 
sundry of our chief Friends in the great work of Praying to God, 
came from them, and there lived their Progenitors, and there lieth 
their Inheritance, and that is the place of their desires. It lieth upon 
Nichmu{e River; the people were well known to the English so 
long as Connecticot Road lay that way, and their Religion was 
judged to be real by all that travelled that journey, and had occasion 
to lodge, especially to keep a Sabbath among them. The Ruler of 
the Town is Anuwcelyn, and his brother Tuppu^oousillin is 
Teacher, both sound and godly Men. This Ruler, last Winter, was 
overtaken with a Passion, which was so observable, that I had oc- 
casion to speak with him about it; he was very penitent; I told 
him, That as to man, I, and all men were ready to forgive him. 
Ah! said he, / find it the greatest difficulty to jorgive myself. For 
the encouragement of this place, and for the cherishing of a new 
Plantation of Praying Indians beyond them, they called Mona- 
tunfynet to be a Teacher also in that Town, and both of them to 
take care of the new Praying-Town beyond them. And for the 
like encouragement, Captain Gootyns joyned Petahheg with Anu- 
wectyn. The aged Father of this Ruler and Teacher, was last year 
Baptized, who hath many Children that fear God. In this place 
we meditate ere long (if the Lord will, and that we live) to gather 
a Church, that so the Sabbath-Communion of our Christian Indians 
may be the more agree- [8] able to the Divine Institution, which 
we make too bold with while we live at such distance. 

Ogquonityngquamesut is the next Town; where, how we have 
been afflicted, I may not say. The English Town called Marlborough 
doth border upon them, as did the lines of the Tribes of Judah and 
Benjamin; the English Meeting-house standeth within the line of 
the Indian Town, although the contiguity and co-inhabitation is 


not barren in producing matters of interfering; yet our godly Indians 
do obtain a good report of the godly English, which is an argument 
that bringeth light and evidence to my heart, that our Indians are 
really godly. I was very lately among them; they desired me to 
settle a stated Lecture amongst them, as it is in sundry other Pray- 
ing Towns, which I did with so much the more gladness and hope 
of blessing in it, because through Grace the Motion did first spring 
from themselves. Solomon is their Teacher, whom we judge to 
be a serious and sound Christian; their Ruler is Otvannamug, whose 
grave, faithful, and discreet Conversation hath procured him real 
respect from the English. One that was a Teacher in this place, is 
the man that is now under Censure in the Church; his sin was that 
adventitious sin which we have brought unto them, Drunkenness, 
which was never known to them before they knew us English. But 
I account it our duty, and it is much in my desire, as well to teach 
them Wisdom to Rule such heady Creatures, as skill to get them 
to be able to bridle their own appetites, when they have means and 
opportunity of high-spirited enticements. The Wisdom and Power 
of Grace is not so much seen in the beggarly want of these things, as 
in the bridling of our selves in the use of them. It is true Dominion, 
to be able to use them, and not to abuse ourselves by them. 

Nashopc is our next Praying Town, a place of much Affliction; 
it was the chief place of Residence, where Tahattawans lived, a 
Sachem of the Blood, a faithful and zealous Christian, a strict yet 
gentle Ruler; he was a Ruler of 50 in our Civil Order; and when 
God took him, a chief man in our Israel was taken away from us. 
His only Son was a while vain, but proved good, expert in the 
Scripture, was Elected to rule in his Father's place, but soon died, 
insomuch that this place is now destitute of a Ruler. The Teacher 
of the place is John Thomas, a godly understanding Christian, well 
esteemed of by the English: his Father was killed by the Mauquaogs, 
shot to death as he was in [9] the/River doing his Eele-wyers. This 
place lying in the Road-way which the Mauquaogs haunted, was 
much molested by them, and was one year wholly deserted; but 
this year the People have taken courage and dwell upon it again. 

In this place after the great Earthquake, there was some eruption 
out of the Earth, which left a great Hiatus or Cleft a great way 


together, and out of some Cavities under great Rocks, by a great 
Pond in that place, there was a great while after often heard an 
humming noise, as if there were frequent eruptions out of the 
Ground at that place: yet for Healthfulness the place is much as 
other places be. For Religion, there be amongst them some Godly 
Christians, who are received into the Church, and baptized, and 
others looking that way. 

Wamesut is our next Praying-Town; it lyeth at the bottom of the 
great Falls, on the great River Merymaf^, and at the falling-in of 
Concord River; the Sachem of this Place is named Nomphon, said 
to be a Prince of the Bloud, a Man of a real Noble Spirit: A Brother 
of his was slain by the Mauquaogs as he was upon a Rock fishing 
in the great River. In revenge whereof he went in the forementioned 
rash Expedition, but had such about him, and was so circumspect, 
that he came well off, though he lost one principal Man. This place 
is very much annoyed by the Mauquaogs, and have much ado to 
stand their ground. 

In this Place Captain Goofy'ns ordered a Garrison to be kept the 
last year, which Order while they attended they were safe; but when 
the Northern Sachems and Souldiers came, who stirred up ours to 
go with them on their unsuccessful Expedition, the Town was for 
the most part scattered and their Corn spoyled. 

The Teacher of this Place is named George: they have not much 
esteem for Religion, but I am hopefully perswaded of sundry of 
them; I can go unto them but once in a year. 

Panattifet is the upper part of M<?r/;?;0^-Falls; so called, because 
of the noise which the Waters make. Thither the Penagwog-lndians 
are come, and have built a great Fort; Their Sachems refused to 
pray to God, so signally and sinfully, that Captain Goofyns and my 
self were very sensible of it, and were not without some expectation 
of some interposure of a Divine-Hand, which did eminently come 
to pass; for in the forenamed expedition they joyned with the North- 
ern Sachems, fio] and were all of them cut off; even all that had 
so signally refused to pray unto God were now as signally rejected 
by God, and cut off. I hear not that it was ever known, that so 
many Sachems and Men of Note were killed in one imprudent 
Expedition, and that by a few scattered people; for the Mauquaogs 


were not imbodied to receive them, nor prepared, and few at home, 
which did much greaten the Overthrow of so many great Men, and 
shews a divine over-ruling hand of God. But now, since the Pen- 
aguog-Sachems are cut off, the People (sundry of them) dwelling 
at Panatufet-Fon do bow the ear to hear, and submit to pray unto 
God; to whom ]cthro t after he had confest Christ and was baptized, 
was sent to preach Christ to them. 

Magunf(tif(quol{ is another of our Praying-Towns at the remotest 
Westerly borders of Natic^ these are gathering together of some 
Nipmul^ Indians who left their own places, and sit together in this 
place, and have given up themselves to pray unto God. They have 
called Pomham to be their Ruler, and Simon to be their Teacher. 
This latter is accounted a good and lively Christian; he is the second 
man among the Indians that doth experience that afflicting disease 
of the Stone. The Ruler hath made his Preparatory Confession of 
Christ, and is approved of, and at the next opportunity is to be 
received and baptized. 

I obtained of the General-Court a Grant of a Tract of Land, for 
the settlement and encouragement of this People; which though 
as yet it be by some obstructed, yet I hope we shall find some way 
to accomplish the same. 

Quanatusset is the last of our Praying-Towns, whose beginnings 
have received too much discouragement; but yet the Seed is alive: 
they are frequently with me; the work is at the birth, there doth 
only want strength to bring forth. The care of this People is com- 
mitted joyntly to Monatunfynit, and Tuppuntyoowillin, the Teach- 
ers of Hassunemesut, as is abovesaid; and I hope if the Lord con- 
tinue my life, I shall have a good account to give of that People. 

Thus I have briefly touched some of the chiefest of our present 
Affairs, and commit them to your Prudence, to do 1 1 1 ] with them 
what you please; committing your Selves, and all your weighty 
Affairs unto the Guidance and Blessing of the Lord, I rest, 

Your Worships to serve you in the Service of our Lord Jesus. 


Roxbury, this 20th of the 7th month, 1670. 



[On the passage of the Stamp Act by the British Parliament in March, 1765, 
requiring that all legal instruments used in the American colonies should bear a 
government stamp in order to be valid, delegates from nine colonies met in New 
York on October 7 of the same year, to protest against this and other encroachments 
upon their rights, and drew up this Declaration. The Stamp Act was repealed in 
March, 1766.) 

THE members of this congress, sincerely devoted, with the 
warmest sentiments of affection and duty to his majesty's 
person and government, inviolably attached to the present 
happy establishment of the protestant succession, and with minds 
deeply impressed by a sense of the present and impending mis- 
fortunes of the British colonies on this continent; having considered 
as maturely as time will permit, the circumstances of the said 
colonies, esteem it our indispensable duty to make the following 
declarations of our humble opinion, respecting the most essential 
rights and liberties of the colonists, and of the grievances under 
which they labour, by reason of several late acts of parliament. 

1. That his majesty's subjects in these colonies, owe the same 
allegiance to the crown of Great Britain, that is owing from his 
subjects born within the realm, and all due subordination to that 
august body the parliament of Great Britain. 

2. That his majesty's liege subjects in these colonies, are entitled 
to all the inherent rights and liberties of his natural born subjects, 
within the kingdom of Great Britain. 

3. That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and 
the undoubted right of Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on 
them but with their own consent, given personally, or by their rep- 

4. That the people of these colonies are not, and, from their local 
circumstances, cannot be, represented in the House of Commons in 
Great Britain. 



5. That the only representatives of the people of these colonies, are 
persons chosen therein by themselves; and that no taxes ever have 
been, or can be constitutionally imposed on them, but by their 
respective legislatures. 

6. That all supplies to the crown being free gifts of the people, 
it is unreasonable and inconsistent with the principles and spirit of 
the British constitution, for the people of Great Britain to grant to 
his majesty the property of the colonists. 

7. That trial by jury, is the inherent and invaluable right of every 
British subject in these colonies. 

8. That the late act of parliament, entitled, an act for granting 
and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British 
colonies and plantations in America, c., by imposing taxes on the 
inhabitants of these colonies, and the said act, and several other 
acts, by extending the jurisdiction of the courts of admiralty beyond 
its ancient limits, have a manifest tendency to subvert the rights and 
liberties of the colonists. 

9. That the duties imposed by several late acts of parliament, 
from the peculiar circumstances of these colonies, will be extremely 
burdensome and grievous; and from the scarcity of specie, the pay- 
ment of them absolutely impracticable. 

10. That as the profits of the trade of these colonies ultimately 
center in Great Britain, to pay for the manufactures which they are 
obliged to take from thence, they eventually contribute very largely 
to all supplies granted there to the crown. 

11. That the restrictions imposed by several late acts of parliament 
on the trade of these colonies, will render them unable to purchase 
the manufactures of Great Britain. 

12. That the increase, prosperity and happiness of these colonies, 
depend on the full and free enjoyments of their rights and liberties, 
and an intercourse with Great Britain mutually affectionate and 

13. That it is the right of the British subjects in these colonies, to 
petition the king, or either house of parliament. 

Lastly, That it is the indispensable duty of these colonies, to the 
best of sovereigns, to the mother country, and to themselves, to 
endeavour by a loyal and dutiful address to his majesty, and humble 


applications to both houses of parliament, to procure the repeal of 
the act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, of all clauses 
of any other acts of parliament, whereby the jurisdiction of the 
admiralty is extended as aforesaid, and of the other late acts for the 
restriction of American commerce. 



Tin the third session of the second continental congress, Richard Henry Lee of 
Virginia proposed, and John Adams of Massachusetts seconded, a resolution declaring 
the United Colonies free and independent stares; and Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, 
Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingstone were appointed a committee to draw up a 
declaration of independence. This famous document, composed almost entirely by 
Jefferson, was adopted unanimously on July 4, 1776.] 

"W "IT THEN in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary 
%/%/ for one people to dissolve the political bands which have 

v T connected them with another, and to assume among the 
Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the 
Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect 
to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the 
causes which impel them to the separation. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created 
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalien- 
able Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of 
Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted 
among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the 
governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes de- 
structive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to 
abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation 
on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to 
them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established 
should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accord- 
ingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to 
suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolish- 
ing the forms to which they are 'accustomed. But when a long 
train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object 
evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is 
their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to 
provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the 



patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity 
which constrains, them to alter their former Systems of Government. 
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of 
repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the 
establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove 
this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. 

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and nec- 
essary for the public good. 

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and 
pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his 
Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly 
neglected to attend to them. 

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of 
large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the 
right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to 
them and formidable to tyrants only. 

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncom- 
fortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for 
the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing 
with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. 

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause 
others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of 
Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; 
the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of 
invasion from without, and convulsions within. 

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for 
that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; 
refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and 
raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. 

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his 
Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. 

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure 
of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. 

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms 
of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance. 

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without 
the Consent of our legislature. 


He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior 
to the Civil Power. 

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign 
to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his 
Assent to their acts of pretended legislation: 

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: 

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any 
Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these 

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: 

For imposing taxes on us without our Consent: 

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury : 

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: 

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring 
Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and en- 
larging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit 
instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: 

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, 
and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: 

For suspending our own Legislature, and declaring themselves in- 
vested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. 

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his 
Protection and waging War against us. 

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, 
and destroyed the lives of our people. 

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries 
to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already be- 
gun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the 
most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized 

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high 
Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners 
of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has en- 
deavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless 
Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished 
destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. 


In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Re- 
dress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been 
answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus 
marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the 
ruler of a free People. 

Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. 
We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their 
legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have 
reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settle- 
ment here. We have appealed to their native justice and magna- 
nimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common 
kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably inter- 
rupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf 
to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, 
acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold 
them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace 

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, 
in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge 
of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and 
by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish 
and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to 
be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all 
Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection be- 
tween them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally 
dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full 
Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish 
Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent 
States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with 
a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually 
pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor, 



New Hampshire 















Massachusetts Bay 


Rhode Island 






New Jersey 



GEO. Ross 





CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton 




North Carolina 



South Carolina 








[On April 30, 1819, the Raleigh (N. C.) Register published the following docu- 
ment, said to have been adopted by the Committee of Mecklenburg county. North 
Carolina, on May 20, 1775, tne day after the receipt of the news of the battle of 
Lexington. The similarity of some of its phrases (here italicized) to phrases in the 
Declaration of Independence raised questions as to plagiarism on Jefferson's part, or, 
on the other hand, as to the authenticity of the Mecklenburg document. It is clear 
that Jefferson never heard of it before 1819; and the explanation most commonly 
adopted is, that it is a compilation, based in part on general recollections of certain 
resolutions, still extant, which were drawn up by the committee-men of Mecklenburg 
on May 31, I775-] 

"i.JT\ESOLVED f That whosoever directly or indirectly abetted, 

f\ or in any way, form, or manner, countenanced the unchar- 

^ ^ tered and dangerous invasion of our rights, as claimed by 

Great Britain, is an enemy to this Country to America and to the 

inherent and inalienable rights of man. 

2. Resolved, That we the citizens of Mecklenburg County, do 
hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the 
Mother Country, and hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to 
the British Crown, and abjure all political connection, contract, or 
association, with that Nation, who have wantonly trampled on our 
rights and liberties and inhumanly shed the innocent blood of 
American patriots at Lexington. 

3. Resolved, That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and inde- 
pendent people, are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self- 
governing Association, under the control of no power other than 
that of our God and the General Government of the Congress; to 
the maintenance of which independence, we solemnly pledge to each 
other, our mutual cooperation, our fives, our fortunes, and our most 
sacred honor. 

4. Resolved, That as we now acknowledge the existence and 
control of no law or legal officer, civil or military, within this County, 



we do hereby ordain and adopt, as a rule of life, all, each and every 
of our former laws where, nevertheless, the Crown of Great Britain 
never can be considered as holding rights, privileges, immunities, 
or authority therein. 

5. Resolved, That it is also further decreed, that all, each and 
every military officer in this County, is hereby reinstated to his former 
command and authority, he acting conformably to these regulations, 
and that every member present of this delegation shall henceforth 
be a civil officer, viz. a Justice of the Peace, in the character of a 
'Committee-man^ to issue process, hear and determine all matters of 
controversy, according to said adopted laws, and to preserve peace, 
and union, and harmony, in said County, and to use every exertion 
to spread the love of country and fire of freedom throughout 
America, until a more general and organized government be estab- 
lished in this province." 



[The same continental congress which passed the Declaration of Independence, 
appointed a committee "to prepare and digest the form of confederation to be entered 
into between these colonies." On July 12, 1776, the committee reported a draft o 
these articles; and after many changes the congress adopted them on November 15, 
1777. They did not, however, become operative till they had been adopted by alt 
the individual states, the last of which, Maryland, finally consented on March x, 
1781. The articles were superseded by the Constitution in 1789.] 


WHEREAS, the Delegates of the United States of America 
in Congress assembled did on the fifteenth day of Novem- 
ber in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred 
and Seventy-seven, and in the Second Year of the Independence of 
America agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual 
Union between the States of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, 
Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North-Carolina, 
South -Carolina and Georgia in the Words following, viz. 

"Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the 
States of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Provi- 
dence Plantations, Connecticut, New-Yor^, New-Jersey, Pennsyl- 
vania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Caro- 
lina and Georgia" 

ARTICLE I. The stile of this confederacy shall be "The United 
States of America." 

ARTICLE II. Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and inde- 
pendence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by 
this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Con- 
gress assembled. 

ARTICLE III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm 



league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the 
security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, 
binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, 
or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, 
.sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever. 

ARTICLE IV. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friend- 
ship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this 
Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vaga- 
bonds and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all 
privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and 
the people of each State shall have free ingress and regress to and 
from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of 
trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and 
restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such 
restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of 
property imported into any State, to any other State of which the 
owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or 
restriction shall be laid by any State, on the property of the United 
States, or either of them. 

If any Person guilty of, or charged with treason, felony, or other 
high misdemeanor in any State, shall flee from justice, and be found 
in any of the United States, he shall upon demand of the Governor 
or Executive power, of the State from which he fled, be delivered up 
and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offence. 

Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the 
records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates 
of every other State, 

ARTICLE V. For the more convenient management of the general 
interest of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed 
in such manner as the legislature of each State shall direct, to meet 
in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with 
a power reserved to each State, to recall its delegates, or any of them, 
at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the 
remainder of the year. 

No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor 
by more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of 
being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; 


nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any 
office under the United States, for which he, or another for his 
benefit receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind. 

Each State shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the 
States, and while they act as members of the committee of the States. 

In determining questions in the United States, in Congress as- 
sembled, each State shall have one vote. 

Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached 
or questioned in any court, or place out of Congress, and the mem- 
bers of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and 
imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and 
attendance on Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the 

ARTICLE VI. No State without the consent of the United States 
in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any 
embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or 
treaty with any jdng, prince or state; nor shall any person holding 
any office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, 
accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind what- 
ever from any king, prince or foreign state; nor shall the United 
States in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of 

No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation 
or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United 
States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for 
which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue. 

No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with 
any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the United States in 
Congress assembled, with any king, prince or state, in pursuance of 
any treaties already proposed by Congress, to the courts of France 
and Spain. 

No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, 
except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United 
States in Congress assembled, for the defence of such State, or its 
trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State, in time 
of peace, except such number only, as in the judgment of the United 
States, in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison 


the forts necessary for the defence of such State; but every State 
shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, suf- 
ficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly 
have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces 
and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp 

No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the United 
States in Congress assembled, unless such State be actually invaded 
by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being 
formed by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the 
danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay, till the United 
States in Congress assembled can be consulted: nor shall any State 
grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of 
marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the 
United States in Congress assembled, and then only against the 
kingdom or state and the subjects thereof, against which war has 
been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established 
by the United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be 
infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out 
for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or 
until the United States in Congress assembled shall determine 

ARTICLE VII. When land-forces are raised by any State for the 
common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be 
appointed by the Legislature of each State respectively by whom such 
forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such State shall direct, 
and all vacancies shall be filled up by the State which first made the 

ARTICLE VIII. All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall 
be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed 
by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of 
a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States, 
in proportion to the value of all land within each State, granted to 
or surveyed for any person, as such land and the buildings and im- 
provements thereon shall be estimated according to such mode as the 
United States in Congress assembled, shall from time to time direct 
and appoint. 


The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by 
the authority and direction of the Legislatures of the several States 
within the rime agreed upon by the United States in Congress 

ARTICLE IX. The United States in Congress assembled, shall have 
the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and 
war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article of sending 
and receiving ambassadors entering into treaties and alliances, pro- 
vided that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legis- 
lative power of the respective States shall be restrained from imposing 
such imposts and duties on foreigners, as their own people are 
subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of 
any species of goods or commodities whatsoever of establishing 
rules for deciding in all cases, what captures on land or water shall 
be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces 
in the service of the United States shall be divided or appropriated 
of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace appoint- 
ing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the 
high seas and establishing courts for receiving and determining 
finally appeals in all cases of captures, provided that no member of 
Congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts. 

The United States in Congress assembled shall also be the last 
resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or 
that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning 
boundary, jurisdiction or any other cause whatever; which authority 
shall always be exercised in the manner following. Whenever the 
legislative or executive authority or lawful agent of any State in 
controversy with another shall present a petition to Congress, staring 
the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall 
be given by order of Congress to the legislative or executive authority 
of the other State in controversy, and a day assigned for the appear- 
ance of the parries by their lawful agents, who shall then be directed 
to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to constitute 
a court for hearing and determining the matter in question: but if 
they cannot agree, Congress shall name three persons out of each 
of the United States, and from the list of such persons each party 
shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the 


number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less 
than seven, nor more than nine names as Congress shall direct, shall 
in the presence of Congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons 
whose names shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be com- 
missioners or judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, 
so always as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall 
agree in the determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend 
at the day appointed, without showing reasons, which Congress shall 
judge sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the Congress 
snail proceed to nominate three persons out of each State, and the 
Secretary of Congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or 
refusing; and the judgment and sentence of the court to be appointed, 
in the manner before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive; and 
if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such 
court, or to appear or defend their claim or cause, the court shall 
nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgment, which 
shall in like manner be final and decisive, the judgment or sentence 
and other proceedings being in either case transmitted to Congress, 
and lodged among the acts of Congress for the security of the parties 
concerned: provided that every commissioner, before he sits in 
judgment, shall take an oath to be administered by one of the judges 
of the supreme or superior court of the State, where the cause shall 
be tried, "well and truly to hear and determine the matter in ques- 
tion, according to the best of his judgment, without favour, affection 
or hope of reward :" provided also that no State shall be deprived of 
territory for the benefit of the United States. 

All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under 
different grants of two or more States, whose jurisdiction as they 
may respect such lands, and the States which passed such grants are 
adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at the same time 
claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of jurisdic- 
tion, shall on the petition of either party to the Congress of the 
United States, be finally determined as near as may be in the same 
manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes respecting terri- 
torial jurisdiction between different States. 

The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole 
and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of 


coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective States 
fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the United 
States regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the In- 
dians, not members of any of the States, provided that the legislative 
right of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated 
establishing and regulating post-offices from one State to another, 
throughout all the United States, and exacting such postage on the 
papers passing thro' the same as may be requisite to defray the 
expenses of the said office appointing all officers of the land forces, 
in the service of the United States, excepting regimental officers 
appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all 
officers whatever in the service of the United States making rules 
for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, 
and directing their operations. 

The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority to 
appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress, to be denom- 
inated "a Commktee of the States," and to consist of one delegate 
from each State; and to appoint such other committees and civil 
officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the 
United States under their direction to appoint one of their number 
to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office 
of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascer- 
tain the necessary sums of money to be raised for the service of the 
United States, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying 
the public expenses to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of 
the United States, transmitting every half year to the respective 
States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted, 
to build and equip a navy to agree upon the number of 
land forces, and to make requisitions from each State for its quota, 
in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such State; 
which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the Legislature of 
each State shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and 
cloath, arm and equip them in a soldier like manner, at the expense 
of the United States; and the officers and men so cloathed, armed 
and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the 
time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled: but if 
the United States in Congress assembled shall, on consideration of 


circumstances judge proper that any State should not raise men, or 
should raise a smaller number than its quota, and that any other 
State should raise a greater number of men than the quota thereof, 
such extra number shall be raised, officered, cloathed, armed and 
equipped in the same as the quota of such State, unless the legisla- 
ture of such State shall judge that such extra number cannot be 
safely spared outside of the same, in which case they shall raise, 
officer, cloath, arm and equip as many of such extra number as they 
judge can be safely spared. And the officers and men so cloathed, 
armed and equipped, shall march to the place appointed, and within 
the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled. 

The United States in Congress assembled shall never engage in a 
war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor 
enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the 
value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the 
defence and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit 
bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor 
appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war, 
to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be 
raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless 
nine States assent to the same: nor shall a question on any other 
point, except for adjourning from day to day be determined, unless 
by the votes of a majority of the United States in Congress assembled. 

The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn 
to any time within the year, and to any place within the United 
States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than 
the space of six months, and shall publish the journal of their pro- 
ceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alli- 
ances or military operations, as in their judgment require secresy; 
and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each State on any question 
shall be entered on the journal, when it is desired by any delegate; 
and the delegates of a State, or any of them, at his or their request 
shall be furnished with a transcript of the said journal, except such 
parts as are above excepted, to lay before the Legislatures of the 
several States. 

ARTICLE X. The committee of the States, or any nine of them, 
shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the 


powers of Congress as the United States in Congress assembled, by 
the consent of nine States, shall from time to time think expedient 
to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said 
committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, 
the voice of nine States in the Congress of the United States 
assembled is requisite. 

ARTICLE XL Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining 
in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and 
entitled to all the advantages of this Union : but no other colony shall 
be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by 
nine States. 

ARTICLE XII. All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed and 
debts contracted by, or under the authority of Congress, before the 
assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present confed- 
eration, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the 
United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said United 
States, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged. 

ARTICLE XIII. Every State shall abide by the determinations of 
the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by 
this confederation are submitted to them. And the articles of this 
confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the 
Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time here- 
after be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in 
a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by 
the Legislatures of every State. 

And whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to 
incline the hearts of the Legislatures we respectively represent in 
Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles 
of confederation and perpetual union. Know ye that we, the under- 
signed delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given 
for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of 
our respective constituents, fully a^d entirely ratify and confirm 
each and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual 
union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained: 
and we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our 
respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations 
of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions, which 


by the said confederation are submitted to them. And that the 
articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we respec- 
tively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual. 

In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. 
Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of 
July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy- 
eight, and in the third year of the independence of America. 

On the part & behalf of the State of New Hampshire 


August 8th, 1778 

On the part and behalf of the State of Massachusetts Bay 



On the part and behalf of the State of Rhode Island and 

Providence Plantations 



On the part and behalf of the State of Connecticut 



On the part and behalf of the State of 'New Yor% * 


On the part and in behalf of the State of New Jersey 
Novr. 26, 7775 


On the part and behalf of the State of Pennsylvania 




On the part & behalf of the State of Delaware 
THOS. M'KEAN, Feby. 12, 1779 JOHN DICKINSON, May 5th, 1779 

On the part and behalf of the State of Maryland 
JOHN HANSON, March i, 1781 DANIEL CARROLL, Mar. i, 1781 

On the part and behalf of the State of Virginia 



On the part and behalf of the State of No. Carolina 


On the part & behalf of the State of South Carolina 



On the part & behalf of the State of Georgia 

JNO. WALTON, 24th July, 1778 



[The surrender of Corn wall is, arranged in these articles, virtually brought to a 
close the hostilities in the war between Great Britain and her American colonies, 
and assured the independence of the United States.] 

Settled between his Excellency General Washington, Commander-in- 
Chief of the combined Forces of America and France; his Excellency 
the Count dc Rochambeau, Lieutenant-General of the Armies of the 
King of France, Great Cross of the royal and military Order of St. 
Louis, commanding the auxiliary Troops of his Most Christian 
Majesty in America; and his Excellency the Count de Grasse, 
Lieutenant-General of the Naval Armies of his Most Christian 
Majesty, Commander of the Order of St. Louis, Commander-in- 
Chicf of the Naval Army of France in the Chesapeake, on the one 
Part; and the Right Honorable Earl Cornwallis, Lieutenant-General 
of his Britannic Majesty's Forces, commanding the Garrisons of 
York and Gloucester; and Thomas Symonds, Esquire, commanding 
his Britannic Majesty's Naval Forces in York River in Virginia, on 
the other Part. 

A~ TICLE I. The garrisons of York and Gloucester, including 
the officers and seamen of his Britannic Majesty's ships, as 
well as other mariners, to surrender themselves prisoners of 
war to the combined forces of America and France. The land troops 
to remain prisoners to the United States, the navy to the naval army 
of his Most Christian Majesty. 


ARTICLE II. The artillery, arms, accoutrements, military chest, and 
public stores of every denomination, shall be delivered unimpaired 
to the heads of departments appointed to receive them. 




ARTICLE III. At twelve o'clock this day the two redoubts on the 
left flank of York to be delivered, the one to a detachment of Ameri- 
can infantry, the other to a detachment of French grenadiers. 


The garrison of York will march out to a place to be appointed in 
front of the posts, at two o'clock precisely, with shouldered arms, 
colors cased, and drums beating a British or German march. They 
are then to ground their arms, and return to their encampments, 
where they will remain until they are despatched to the places of 
their destination. Two works on the Gloucester side will be deliv- 
ered at one o'clock to a detachment of French and American troops 
appointed to possess them. The garrison will march out at three 
o'clock in the afternoon; the cavalry with their swords drawn, 
trumpets sounding, and the infantry in the manner prescribed for 
the garrison of York. They are likewise to return to their encamp- 
ments until they can be finally marched off. 

ARTICLE IV. Officers are to retain their side-arms. Both officers 
and soldiers to keep their private property of every kind; and no 
part of their baggage or papers to be at any time subject to search 
or inspection. The baggage and papers of officers and soldiers taken 
during the siege to be likewise preserved for them. 


It is understood that any property obviously belonging to the 
inhabitants of these States, in the possession of the garrison, shall be 
subject to be reclaimed. 

ARTICLE V. The soldiers to be kept in Virginia, Maryland, or 
Pennsylvania, and as much by regiments as possible, and supplied 
with the same rations of provision^ as are allowed to soldiers in the 
service of America. A field-officer from each nation, to wit, British, 
Anspach, and Hessian, and other officers on parole, in the proportion 
of one to fifty men to be allowed to reside near their respective regi- 
ments, to visit them frequently, and be witnesses of their treatment; 
and that their officers may receive and deliver clothing and other 


necessaries for them, for which passports are to be granted when 
applied for. 

ARTICLE VI. The general, staff, and other officers not employed 
as mentioned in the above articles, and who choose it, to be permit- 
ted to go on parole to Europe, to New York, or to any other Ameri- 
can maritime posts at present in the possession of the British forces, 
at their own option; and proper vessels to be granted by the Count 
de Grasse to carry them under flags of truce to New York within ten 
days from this date, if possible, and they to reside in a district to be 
agreed upon hereafter, until they embark. The officers of the civil 
department of the army and navy to be included in this article. 
Passports to go by land to be granted to those to whom vessels cannot 
be furnished. 


ARTICLE VII. Officers to be allowed to keep soldiers as servants, 
according to the common practice of the service. Servants not sol- 
diers are not to be considered as prisoners, and are to be allowed to 
attend their masters. 


ARTICLE VIII. The Bonetta sloop-of-war to be equipped, and 
navigated by its present captain and crew, and left entirely at the 
disposal of Lord Cornwallis from the hour that the capitulation is 
signed, to receive an aid-de<amp to carry despatches to Sir Henry 
Clinton; and such soldiers as he may think proper to send to New 
York, to be permitted to sail without examination. When his des- 
patches are ready, his Lordship engages on his part, that the ship 
shall be delivered to the order of the Count de Grasse, if she escapes 
the dangers of the sea. That she shall not carry off any public stores. 
Any part of the crew that may be deficient on her return, and the 
soldiers passengers, to be accounted for on her delivery. 

ARTICLE IX. The traders are to preserve their property, and to be 
allowed three months to dispose of or remove them; and those 
traders are not to be considered as prisoners of war. 


The traders will be allowed to dispose of their effects, the allied 
army having the right of preemption. The traders to be considered 
as prisoners of war upon parole. 

ARTICLE X. Natives or inhabitants of different parts of this coun- 
try, at present in York or Gloucester, are not to be punished on 
account of having joined the British army. 

This article cannot be assented to, being altogether of civil resort. 

ARTICLE XL Proper hospitals to be furnished for the sick and 
wounded. They are to be attended by their own surgeons on parole; 
and they are to be furnished with medicines and stores from the 
American hospitals. 

The hospital stores now at York and Gloucester shall be delivered 
for the use of the British sick and wounded. Passports will be 
granted for procuring them further supplies from New York, as 
occasion may require; and proper hospitals will be furnished for 
the reception of the sick and wounded of the two garrisons. 

ARTICLE XII. Wagons to be furnished to carry the baggage of 
the officers attending the soldiers, and to surgeons when travelling on 
account of the sick, attending the hospitals at public expense. 

They are to be furnished if possible. 

ARTICLE XIII. The shipping and boats in the two harbours, with 
all their stores, guns, tackling, and apparel, shall be delivered up in 
their present state to an officer of the navy appointed to take posses- 
sion of them, previously unloading the private property, part of which 
had been on board for security during the siege. 


ARTICLE XIV. No article of capitulation to be infringed on pre- 
tence of reprisals; and if there be any doubtful expressions in it, they 
are to be interpreted according to the common meaning and accepta- 
tion of the words. ' 


Done at Yorktown, in Virginia, October igth, 1781. 



Done in the Trenches before Yorktown, in Virginia, October 
I9th, 1781. 




En mon nom & celui du 



[Less than five months after the surrender of Cormvallis, the British Parliament 
passed an act to enable the king to make peace till July 1783. In the end of Novem- 
ber, 1782, a provisional treaty was signed, the negotiations on behalf of Congress 
having been conducted by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Jay, and Henry 
Laurens. On September 3, 1783, this treaty was made definitive in the form here 
printed, and the complete independence of the American States acknowledged by 
Great Britain.] 

JANUARY 14, 1784. 

IN the name ot the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. 
It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts 
of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, 
by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, 
Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, Arch- 
Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &c., and of 
the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings 
and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspond- 
ence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore; and to 
establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the 
two countries, upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual 
convenience, as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and 
harmony: And having for this desirable end already laid the founda- 
tion of peace and reconciliation, by the provisional articles, signed at 
Paris, on the 3Oth of Nov., 1782, by the commissioners empowered on 
each part, which articles were agreed to be inserted in and to con- 
stitute the treaty of peace proposed to be concluded between the 
Crown of Great Britain and the said United States, but which treaty 
was not to be concluded until terms of peace should be agreed upon 
between Great Britain and France, and His Britannic Majesty should 



be ready to conclude such treaty accordingly; and the treaty between' 
Great Britain and France having since been concluded, His Britannic 
Majesty and the United States of America, in order to carry into full 
effect the provisional articles above mentioned, according to the tenor 
thereof, have constituted and appointed, that is to say, His Britannic 
Majesty on his part, David Hartley, esqr., member of the Parliament 
of Great Britain; and the said United States on their part, John 
Adams, esqr., late a commissioner of the United States of America 
at the Court of Versailles, late Delegate in Congress from the State 
of Massachusetts, and chief justice of the said State, and Minister 
Plenipotentiary of the said United States to their High Mightinesses 
the States General of the United Netherlands; Benjamin Franklin, 
esq're, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Pennsylvania, 
president of the convention of the said State, and Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary from the United States of America at the Court of Ver- 
sailles; John Jay, esq're, late President of Congress, and Chief Justice 
of the State of New York, and Minister Plenipotentiary from the 
said United States at the Court of Madrid, to be the Plenipotentiaries 
for the concluding and signing the present definitive treaty; who, 
after having reciprocally communicated their respective full powers, 
have agreed upon and confirmed the following articles: 


His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz. 
New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Providence 
Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and 
Georgia, to be free, sovereign and independent States; that he treats 
with them as such, and for himself, his heirs and successors, relin- 
quishes all claims to the Government, proprietory and territorial 
rights of the same, and every part thereof. 


And that all disputes which might arise in future, on the subject of 
the boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is 
hereby agreed and declared, that the following are, and shall be 
their boundaries, viz.: From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, 


viz. that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the 
source of Saint Croix River to the Highlands; along the said High- 
lands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the river 
St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to 
the north westernmost head of Connecticut River; thence down along 
the middle of that river, to the forth-fifth degree of north latitude; 
from thence, by a line due west on said latitude, until it strikes the 
river Iroquois or Cataraquy; thence along the middle of said river 
into Lake Ontario, through the middle of said lake until it strikes 
the communication by water between that lake and Lake Erie; 
thence along the middle of said communication into Lake Erie, 
through the middle of said lake until it arrives at the water com- 
munication between that lake and Lake Huron; thence along the 
middle of said water communication into the Lake Huron; thence 
through the middle of said lake to the water communication between 
that Lake and La^e Superior; thence through Lake Superior north- 
ward of the Isles Royal and Phelipeaux, to the Long Lake; thence 
through the middle of said Long Lake, and the water communica- 
tion between it and the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of 
the Woods; thence through the said lake to the most northwestern 
point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river 
Mississippi; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of the 
said river Mississippi until it shall intersect the northernmost part 
of the thirty-first degree of north latitude. South, by a line to be 
drawn due east from the determination of the line last mentioned, 
in the latitude of thirty-one degrees north of the Equator, to the 
middle of the river Apalachicola or Catahouche; thence along the 
middle thereof to its junction with the Flint River; thence, straight 
to the head of St. Mary's River; and thence down along the middle 
of St. Mary's River to the Atlantic Ocean. East, by a line to be drawn 
along the middle of the river St. Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of 
Fundy to its source, and from its Source directly north to the afore- 
said Highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic 
Ocean from those which fall into the river St. Lawrence; compre- 
hending all islands within twenty leagues of any part of the shores 
of the United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due east 
from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia 


on the one part, and East Florida on the other, shall respectively 
touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean; excepting such 
islands as now are, or heretofore have been, within the limits of the 
said province of Nova Scotia. 


It is agreed that the people of the United States shall continue to 
enjoy unmolested the right to take fish of every kind on the Grand 
Bank, and on all the other banks of Newfoundland; also in the Gulph 
of Saint Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea where the inhabi- 
tants of both countries used at any time heretofore to fish. And also 
that the inhabitants of the United States shall have liberty to take 
fish of every kind on such part of the coast of Newfoundland as 
British fishermen shall use (but not to dry or cure the same on that 
island) and also on the coasts, bays, and creeks of all other of His 
Britannic Majesty's dominions in America; and that the American 
fishermen shall have liberty to dry and cure fish in any of the 
unsettled bays, harbours, and creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen 
Islands, and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain unsettled; 
but so soon as the same or either of them shall be settled, it shall 
not be lawful for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such settle- 
ment, without a previous agreement for that purpose with the 
inhabitants, proprietors, or possessors of the ground. 


It is agreed that creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful 
impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money, of 
all bona fide debts heretofore contracted. 


It is agreed that the Congress shall earnestly recommend it to the 
legislatures of the respective States, to provide for the restitution of 
all estates, rights, and properties which have been confiscated, belong- 
ing to real British subjects, and also of the estates, rights and prop- 
erties of persons resident in districts in the possession of His Maj- 
esty's arms, and who have not borne arms against the said United 
States* And that persons of any other description shall have free 


liberty to go to any part or parts of any of the thirteen United 
States, and therein to remain twelve months, unmolested in their 
endeavours to obtain the restitution of such of their estates, rights, 
and properties as may have been confiscated; and that Congress 
shall also earnestly recommend to the several States a reconsideration 
and revision of all acts or laws regarding the premises, so as to 
render the said laws or acts perfectly consistent, not only with 
justice and equity, but with that spirit of conciliation which, on the 
return of the blessings of peace, should universally prevail. And 
that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to the several States, 
that the estates, rights, and properties of such last mentioned persons, 
shall be restored to them, they refunding to any persons who may 
be now in possession, the bona fide price (where any has been 
given) which such persons may have paid on purchasing any of 
the said lands, rights, or properties, since the confiscation. And it 
is agreed, that all persons who have any interest in confiscated lands, 
either by debts, rriarriage settlements, or otherwise, shall meet with 
no lawful impediment in the prosecution of their just rights. 


That there shall be no future confiscations made, nor any prosecu- 
tions commenced against any person or persons for, or by reason 
of the part which he or they may have taken in the present war; 
and that no person shall, on that account, suffer any future loss or 
damage, either in his person, liberty, or property; and that those who 
may be in confinement on such charges, at the time of the ratification 
of the treaty in America, shall be immediately set at liberty, and 
the prosecutions so commenced be discontinued. 


There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between His Britannic 
Majesty and the said States, and between the subjects of the one 
and the citizens of the other, wherefore all hostilities, both by sea 
and land, shall from henceforth cease: All prisoners on both sides 
shall be set at liberty, and His Britannic Majesty shall, with all 
convenient speed, and without causing any destruction, or carrying 
away any negroes or other property of the American inhabitants, 


withdraw all his armies, garrisons, and fleets from the said United 
States, and from every port, place, and harbour within the same; 
leaving in all fortifications the American artillery that may be there- 
in: And shall also order and cause all archives, records, deeds, and 
papers, belonging to any of the said States, or their citizens, which, 
in the course of the war, may have fallen into the hands of his 
officers, to be forthwith restored and delivered to the proper States 
and persons to whom they belong. 


The navigation of the river Mississippi, from its source to the 
ocean, shall forever remain free and open to the subjects of Great 
Britain, and the citizens of the United States. 


In case it should so happen that any place or territory belonging 
to Great Britain or to the United States, should have been conquer'd 
by the arms of either from the other, before the arrival of the said 
provisional articles in America, it is agreed, that the same shall be 
restored without difficulty, and without requiring any compensa- 


The solemn ratifications of the present treaty, expedited in good 
and due form, shall be exchanged between the contracting parties, 
in the space of six months, or sooner if possible, to be computed 
from the day of the signature of the present treaty. In witness 
whereof, we the undersigned, their Ministers Plenipotentiary, have 
in their name and in virtue of our full powers, signed with our 
hands the present definitive treaty, and caused the seals of our arms 
to be affix'd thereto. 

Done at Paris, this third day of September, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three. 

D. HARTLEY [L. s.] 
B. FRANKLIN [L. s.] 
JOHN JAY [L. s.] 



fOn May 25, 1787, fifty-five delegates from the various States met in Philadelphia 
to discuss the drawing up of a Constitution to take the place of the Articles of Con- 
federation. Washington presided; and, after a long struggle and many compromises, 
the resultant document was referred to the several States on September 28 of the 
same year. By June 21, 1789, the required nine out of the thirteen States had 
ratified it, and the new federaJ government was established at New York on April 
30, 1789. The dates of the amendments are as follows: I-X, Nov. 3, 1791; XI, Jan. 
8, 1798; XII, Sept. 25, 1804; XIII, Feb. i, 1865; XIV, July 28, 1868; XV, March 30, 
1870; XVI, Feb. 25, 1913; XVII, May 31, 1913; XVIII, Jan. 29, 1919; XIX, 
Aug. 26, 1920.] 

We, the People OL the United States, in Order to form a more perfect 
Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for 
the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the 
Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and 
establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America. 


SECTION i All legislative Powers herein granted shall be 
vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist 
of a Senate and House of Representatives. 

SECTION 2 (i) The House of Representatives shall be composed 
of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several 
States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications 
requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State 

(2) No person shall be a Representative who shall not have at- 
tained to the Age of Twenty-five* years, and been seven Years a 
Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an 
inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen. 

(3) Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among 
the several States which may be included within this Union, accord- 



ing to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by add- 
ing to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound 
to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, 
three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be 
made within three Years after the first Meeiing of the Congress of 
the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, 
in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of 
Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but 
each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such 
enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be 
entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and 
Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New 
Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Vir- 
ginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia 

(4) When vacancies happen in the Representation from any 
State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election 
to fill such Vacancies. 

(5) The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and 
other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. 

SECTION 3 (i) The Senate of the United States shall be composed 
of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, 
for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. 

(2) Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence 
of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into 
three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be 
vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at 
the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the 
Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every 
second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, 
during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive 
thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next meeting 
of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies. 

(3) No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained 
to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the 
United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant 
of that State for which he shall be chosen. 


(4) The Vice President of the United States shall be President 
of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. 

(5) The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a Presi- 
dent pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when 
he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States. 

(6) The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeach- 
ments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or 
Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the 
Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without 
the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present. 

(7) Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further 
than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy 
any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but 
the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to In- 
dictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law. 

SECTION 4 (i) The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elec- 
tions for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each 
State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time 
by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of 
chusing Senators. 

(2) The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, 
and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless 
they shall by Law appoint a different Day. 

SECTION 5 (i) Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, 
Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of 
each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number 
may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel 
the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under 
such Penalties as each House may provide. 

(2) Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, 
punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concur- 
rence of two thirds, expel a Member. 

(3) Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from 
time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their 
Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members 
of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth 
of those present, be entered on the Journal. 


(4) Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, with- 
out the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor 
to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting. 

SECTION 6 (i) The Senators and Representatives shall receive a 
Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and 
paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all 
Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged 
from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their re- 
spective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and 
for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be ques- 
tioned in any other Place. 

(2) No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for 
which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the 
Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or 
the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such 
time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, 
shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in 

SECTION 7 (i) All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in 
the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur 
with Amendments as on other Bills. 

(2) Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Represent- 
atives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to 
the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, 
but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in 
which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at 
large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such 
Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the 
Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, 
by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two 
thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases 
the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, 
and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall 
be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill 
shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays 
excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall 
be a law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress 


by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall 
not be a Law. 

(3) Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence 
of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (ex- 
cept on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the Presi- 
dent of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, 
shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be 
repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, 
according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of 
a Bill. 

SECTION 8 (i) The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect 
Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for 
the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; 
but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout 
the United States; 

(2) To borrow money on the Credit of the United States; 

(3) To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among 
the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; 

(4) To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uni- 
form Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United 

(5) To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign 
Coin, and to fix the Standard of Weights and Measures; 

(6) To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Secur- 
ities and current Coin of the United States; 

(7) To establish Post Offices and post Roads; 

(8) To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by 
securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive 
Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries; 

(9) To constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court; 

(10) To define and Punish Piracies and Felonies committed on 
the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations; 

(n) To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and 
make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; 

(12) To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation o 
Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; 

(13) To provide and maintain a Navy; 


(14) To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of 
the land and naval Forces; 

(15) To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws 
of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; 

(16) To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the 
Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed 
in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respec- 
tively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of train- 
ing the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; 

(17) To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, 
over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by 
Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, be- 
come the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to 
exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent 
of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the 
Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other need- 
ful Buildings; And 

(18) To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for 
carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers 
vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, 
or in any Department or Officer thereof. 

SECTION 9 (i) The Migration or Importation of such Persons 
as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall 
not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand 
eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or Duty may be imposed on 
such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person. 

(2) The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be 
suspended unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public 
Safety may require it. 

(3) No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. 

(4) No Capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in 
Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed 
to be taken. 

(5) No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any 

(6) No preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce 
or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall 


Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or 
pay Duties in another. 

(7) No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Con- 
sequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement 
and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money 
shall be published from time to time. 

(8) No Tide of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: 
And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, 
shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, 
Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, 
Prince, or foreign State. 

SECTION 10 (i) No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, 
or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin 
Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver 
Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex 
post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or 
grant any Title of, Nobility. 

(2) No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any 
Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be 
absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net 
Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or 
Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; 
and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and controul of 
the Congress. 

(3) No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any 
Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, 
enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with 
a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in 
such imminent Danger as will not admit of Delay. 


SECTION i (i) The executive Power shall be vested in a President 
of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during 
the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, 
chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows: 


(2) Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature 
thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole 
Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may 
be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or 
Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, 
shall be appointed an Elector. 

The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by bal- 
lot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant 
of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of 
all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; 
which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the 
Seat of Government of the United States, directed to the President 
of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of 
the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, 
nnd the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the great- 
est Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a 
Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there 
be more than one who have such Majority and have an equal 
Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall im- 
mediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no 
person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the 
said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing 
the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation 
from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall 
consist of a Member or Members from two-thirds of the States, 
and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In 
every Case, after the Choice of the President, the person having the 
greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice Presi- 
dent. But if there should remain two or more who have equal 
votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice-Prcsi- 

(3) The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Elec- 
tors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day 
shall be the same throughout the United States. 

(4) No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of 
the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, 


shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person 
be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of 
thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the 
United States. 

(5) In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of 
his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and 
Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice Presi- 
dent, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, 
Death, Resignation, or Inability, both of the President and Vice 
President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and 
such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, 
or a President shall be elected. 

(6) The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, 
a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished 
during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he 
shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the 
United States, or 'any of them. 

(7) Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take 
the following Oath or Affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or 
affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the 
United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect 
and defend the Constitution of the United States." 

SECTION 2 (i) The President shall be Commander in Chief of 
the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the 
several States, when called into actual Service of the United States; 
he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in 
each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the 
Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant 
Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, ex- 
cept in Cases of Impeachment. 

(2) He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent 
of the Senate, to make Treaties, p^vided two-thirds of the Senators 
present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice 
and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public 
Ministers and Councils, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other 
Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein 


otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but 
the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior 
Officers as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts 
of Law, or in the Heads of Departments. 

(3) The President shall have power to fill up all Vacancies that 
may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Com- 
missions which shall expire at the End of their next Session. 

SECTION 3 He shall from time to time give to the Congress In- 
formation of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Con- 
sideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; 
he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either 
of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect 
to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time 
as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other 
public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully 
executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States. 

SECTION 4 The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of 
the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment 
for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and 


SECTION I The judicial Power of the United States, shall be 
vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the 
Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, 
both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices 
during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their 
Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during 
their Continuance in Office. 

SECTION 2 (i) The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in 
Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the 
United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under 
their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public 
Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime 
Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall 
be a party; to Controversies between two or more States; 


between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of 
different States, between Citizens of the same State claiming 
Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or 
the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or subjects. 

(2) In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and 
Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a Party, the Supreme 
Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before 
mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both 
as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regula- 
tions as the Congress shall make. 

(3) The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, 
shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where 
the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed 
within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the 
Congress may by Law have directed. 

SECTION 3 (i) Treason against the United States, shall consist 
only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, 
giving them Aid and Comfort. No person shall be convicted of 
Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same 
overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. 

(2) The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment 
of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of 
Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted. 


SECTION i Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to 
the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other 
State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Man- 
ner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, 
and the Effect thereof. 

SECTION 2 (i) The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to 
all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. 

(2) A person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or 
other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another 
State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State 
from which he fled, be delivered up to be removed to the State 
having Jurisdiction of the Crime, 


(3) No person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the 
Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any 
Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or 
Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom 
such service or Labour may be due. 

SECTION 3 (i) New States may be admitted by the Congress into 
this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the 
Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the 
Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Con- 
sent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the 

(2) The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all 
needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other 
Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Con- 
stitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the 
United States, or of any particular State. 

SECTION 4 The United States shall guarantee to every State in 
this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each 
of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or 
of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against 
domestic Violence. 


The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem 
it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, 
on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several 
States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, 
in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part 
of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three 
fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths 
thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be pro- 
posed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may 
be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight 
shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth 
Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, 
shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate. 



(1) All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before 
the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the 
United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation. 

(2) This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which 
shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which 
shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be 
the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall 
be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any 
State to the Contrary notwithstanding. 

(3) The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and 
the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and 
judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, 
shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; 
but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any 
Office or public Trust under the United States. 


The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be 
sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the 
States so ratifying the Same. 

DONE in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States 
present, the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our 
Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the 
Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. 
3n9itntBB whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names, 

Presidt. and Deputy from Virginia. 

New Hampshire 




















New Jersey 










North Carolina 


South Carolina 







Articles in Addition to, and Amendment of, the Constitution of 
the United States of America, Proposed by Congress, and Ratified 
by the Legislatures of the Several States Pursuant to the Fifth Article 
of the Original Constitution. 


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, 
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of 
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, 
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, 
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. 


No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without 
the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be 
prescribed by law. 


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, 
and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be 
violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, sup- 
ported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to 
be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous 
crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in 
cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual 
service in time of War or in public danger; nor shall any person be sub- 
ject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor 
shall be compelled in any Criminal Case to be a witness against himself, 
nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; 
nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compen- 


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a 
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district 


wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have 
been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and 
cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; 
to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to 
have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. 


In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed 
twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact 
tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the 
United States, than according to the rules of the common law. 


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor 
cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. 


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be 
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. 


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, 
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, 
or to the people. 


The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to 
extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against 
one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or 
Subjects of any Foreign State. 


The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot 
for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an 
inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their 
ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the per- 
son voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all 
persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice- 
President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall 
sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of 
the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;- The Presi- 
dent of the Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; 


The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be 
the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of 
Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the 
persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of 
those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose 
immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the 
votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having 
one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or mem- 
bers from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of ail the States shall 
be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not 
choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, 
before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President 
shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional 
disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of 
votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a 
majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person 
have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the 
Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall 
consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority 
of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person con- 
stitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that 
of Vice-President of the United States. 


SECTION i Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a 
punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, 
shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their juris- 

SECTION 2 Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appro- 
priate legislation. 


SECTION i All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and 
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and 
of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any 
law which shall abridge the privilege or immunities of citizens of the 
United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or 
property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its 
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 

SECTION 2 Representatives shall be apportioned among the several 
States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole num- 
ber of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the 
right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and 
Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the 


Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legis- 
lature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such States, 
being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any 
way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the 
basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which 
the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male 
citizens twenty-one years of age in such State. 

SECTION 3 No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, 
or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or 
military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having pre- 
viously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the 
United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive 
or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United 
States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, 
or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a 
vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. 

SECTION 4 The validity of the public debt of the United States, 
authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and 
bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be 
questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or 
pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion 
against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of 
any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal 
and void. 

SECTION 5 The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate 
legislation, the provisions of this article. 


SECTION x The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not 
be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account 
of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. 

SECTION 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by 
appropriate legislation. 


The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, 
from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several 
States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. 


SECTION I The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two 
Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; 
and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall 


have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch 
of the State Legislatures. 

SECTION 2 When vacancies happen in the representation of any State 
in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of 
election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the Legislature of any 
State may empower the Executive thereof to make temporary appoint- 
ment until the people fill the vacancies by election as the Legislature may 

SECTION 3 This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the 
election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part 
of the Constitution. 


SECTION i After one year from the ratification of this article the 
manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the 
importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United 
States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage 
purposes is hereby prohibited. 

SECTION 2 The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent 
power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

SECTION 3 This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been 
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the 
several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from 
the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress. 


SECTION i The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not 
be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of 

SECTION 2 Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to 
enforce the provisions of this article. 




[In the interval between the drawing up of the Constitution and its ratification, there 
appeared in The Independent Journal and other New York newspapers a series of 
eighty-five articles under the general heading of The Federalist, devoted to expound- 
ing and defending the new instrument of government. Most of the articles were 
written by Hamilton, some twenty-nine by Madison (whose work the Constitution 
largely was), and five by Jay. Together they form one of the great classics on 
government; and they exercised a highly important influence in favor of the adoption 
of the Constitution.] 




AfER an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of the sub- 
sisting Feeder al Government, you are called upon to deliber- 
ate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. 
The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its con- 
sequences, nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety 
and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an 
empire, in many respects, the most interesting in the world. It has 
been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to 
the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide 
the important question, whether societies of men are really capable 
or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, 
or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political 
constitutions, on accident and force. If there be any truth in the 
remark, the crisis, at which we are arrived, may with propriety be 
regarded as the aera in which that decision is to be made; and a 
wrong election of the part we shall act, may, in this view, deserve 
to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind. 



This idea will add the inducements of philanthropy to those of 
patriotism to heighten the solicitude, which all considerate and 
good men must feel for the event. Happy will it be if our choice 
should be directed by a judicious estimate of our true interests, un- 
perplexed and unbiased by considerations not connected with the 
public good. But this is a thing more ardently to be wished, than 
seriously to be expected. The plan offered to our deliberations, 
affects too many particular interests, innovates upon too many local 
institutions, not to involve in its discussion a variety of objects foreign 
to its merits, and of views, passions and prejudices little favorable to 
the discovery of truth. 

Among the most formidable of the obstacles which the new Con- 
stitution will have to encounter, may readily be distinguished the 
obvious interest of a certain class of men in every State to resist 
all changes which may hazard a diminution of the power, emolu- 
ment and consequence of the offices they hold under the State- 
establishments-^ and the perverted ambition of another class of men, 
who will either hope to aggrandize themselves by the confusion of 
their country, or will flatter themselves with fairer prospects of 
elevation from the subdivision of the empire into several partial 
confederacies, than from its union under one Government. 

It is not, however, my design to dwell upon observations of this 
nature. I am well aware that it would be disingenuous to resolve 
indiscriminately the opposition of any set of men (merely because 
their situations might subject them to suspicion) into interested or 
ambitious views: Candor will oblige us to admit, that even such 
men may be actuated by upright intentions; and it cannot be 
doubted, that much of the opposition which has made its appear- 
ance, or may hereafter make its appearance, will spring from sources, 
blameless at least, if not respectable; the honest errors of minds led 
astray by preconceived jealousies and fears. So numerous indeed 
and so powerful are the causes, which serve to give a false bias to 
the judgment, that we, upon many occasions, see wise and good 
men on the wrong as well as on the right side of questions, of the 
first magnitude to society. This circumstance, if duly attended to, 
would furnish a lesson of moderation to those, who are ever so 
much persuaded of their being in the right, in any controversy* 


And a further reason for caution, in this respect, might be drawn 
from the reflection, that we are not always sure, that those who 
advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their 
antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, 
and many other motives, not more laudable than these, are apt to 
operate as well upon those who support, as upon those who oppose, 
the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements 
to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant 
spirit, which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For, 
in politics as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making pros- 
elytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by 

And yet however just these sentiments will be allowed to be, we 
have already sufficient indications, that it will happen in this as 
in all former cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry 
and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the con- 
duct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude, that they 
will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to 
increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their dec- 
lamations, and the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened 
zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized, 
as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power, and hostile 
to the principles of liberty. An over scrupulous jealousy of danger 
to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of 
the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretence and 
artifice; the stale bait for popularity at the expense of public good. 
It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual con- 
comitant of violent love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty 
is too apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. 
On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten, that the vigor of 
Government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the con- 
templation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest 
can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often 
lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people, 
than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and 
efficiency of Government. History will teach us, that the former 
has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of 


despotism, than the latter; and that of those men who have over- 
turned the liberties of republics the greatest number have begun 
their career, by paying an obsequious court to the people; com- 
mencing Demagogues, and ending Tyrants. 

In the course of the preceding observations I have had an eye, my 
Fellow-Citizens, to putting you upon your guard against all at- 
tempts, from whatever quarter, to influence your decision* in a 
matter of the utmost moment to your welfare by any impressions 
other than those which may result from the evidence of truth. You 
will, no doubt, at the same time, have collected from the general 
scope of them that they proceed from a source not unfriendly to the 
new Constitution. Yes, my Countrymen, I owe to you, that, after 
having given it an attentive consideration, I am clearly of opinion, 
it is your interest to adopt it. I am convinced, that this is the safest 
course for your liberty, your dignity, and your happiness. I affect 
not reserves, which I do not feel. I will not amuse you with an 
appearance of deliberation, when I have decided. I frankly acknowl- 
edge to you my convictions, and I will freely lay before you the 
reasons on which they are founded. The consciousness of good in- 
tentions disdains ambiguity. I shall not however multiply pro- 
fessions on this head. My motives must remain in the depository 
of my own breast: My arguments will be open to all, and may be 
judged of by all. They shall at least be offered in a spirit which will 
not disgrace the cause of truth. 

I propose, in a series of papers, to discuss the following interesting 
particulars. The utility of the UNION to your political prosperity 
The insufficiency of the present Confederation to preserve that 
Union The necessity of a Government at least equally energetic 
with the one proposed, to the attainment of this object The con- 
forrnity of the proposed Constitution to the true principles of re- 
publican Government Its analogy to your own State Constitution 
and lastly, The additional security which its adoption will afford 
to the preservation of that species of Government, to liberty, and to 

In the progress of this discussion, I shall endeavor to give a satis- 
factory answer to all the objections which shall have made their 
appearance, that may seem to have any claim to your attention. 


It may perhaps be thought superfluous to offer arguments to prove 
the utility of the UNION, a point, no doubt, deeply engraved on 
the hearts of the great body of the people in every State, and one, 
which it may be imagined, has no adversaries. But the fact is, that 
we already hear it whispered in the private circles of those who op- 
pose the new Constitution, that the Thirteen States are of too great 
extent for any general system, and that we must of necessity, resort 
to separate confederacies of distinct portions of the whole. 1 This 
doctrine will, in all probability, be gradually propagated, till it has 
votaries enough to countenance an open avowal of it. For nothing 
can be more evident, to those who are able to take an enlarged view 
of the subject, than the alternative of an adoption of the new Con- 
stitution or a dismemberment of the Union. It will, therefore, be 
of use to begin by examining the advantages of that Union, the 
certain evils, and the probable dangers, to which every State will be 
exposed from its dissolution. This shall accordingly constitute the 
subject of my next address. PUBLIUS. 





When the people of America reflect that they are now called 
upon to decide a question, which, in its consequences, must prove 
one of the most important, that ever engaged their attention, the 
propriety of their taking a very comprehensive, as well as a very 
serious, view of it, will be evident. 

Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of Gov- 
ernment, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however 
it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights, 
in order to vest it with requisite powers. It is well worthy of con- 
sideration, therefore, whether it would conduce more to the interest 
of the people of America, that they should, to all general purposes, be 
one nation, under one Fcederal Government, or that they should 
divide themselves into separate confederacies, and give to the head 

1 The same idea, tracing the arguments to their consequences, is held out in several 
of the late publications against the new Constitution. Publius. 


of each, the same kind of powers which they are advised to place 
in one national Government. 

It has until lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion, 
that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their con- 
tinuing firmly united, and the wishes, prayers, and efforts of our 
best and wisest Citizens have been constantly directed to that object. 
But Politicians now appear, who insist that this opinion is erroneous, 
and that instead of looking for safety and happiness in union, we 
ought to seek it in a division of the States into distinct confederacies 
or sovereignties. However extraordinary this new doctrine may ap- 
pear, it nevertheless has its advocates; and certain characters who 
were much opposed to it formerly, are at present of the number. 
Whatever may be the arguments or inducements which have 
wrought this change in the sentiments and declarations of these 
Gentlemen, it certainly would not be wise in the people at large 
to adopt these new political tenets without being fully convinced 
that they are founded in truth and sound Policy. 

It has often given me pleasure to observe, that Independent Amer- 
ica was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that 
one connected, fertile, wide-spreading country was the portion of 
our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner 
blessed it with a variety of soils and productions and watered it 
with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its 
inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of 
chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most 
noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present 
them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, 
and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various com- 

With equal pleasure 1 have as often taken notice, that Providence 
has been pleased to give this one connected country, to one united 
people; a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the 
same language, professing the 'same religion, attached to the same 
principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, 
and who, by their joint counsels, arms and efforts, fighting side by 
side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their 
general Liberty and Independence. 


This country and this people seem to have been made for each 
other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an 
inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united 
to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a 
number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties. 

Similar sentiments have hitherto prevailed among all orders and 
denominations of men among us. To all general purposes we have 
uniformly been one people; each individual citizen everywhere en- 
joying the same national rights, privileges, and protection. As a 
nation we have made peace and war: as a nation we have vanquished 
our common enemies: as a nation we have formed alliances and 
made treaties, and entered into various compacts and conventions 
with foreign States. 

A strong sense of the value and blessings of Union induced the 
people, at a very early period, to institute a Fcederal Government 
to preserve and perpetuate it. They formed it almost as soon as 
they had a political existence; nay, at a time, when their habitations 
were in flames, when many of their Citizens were bleeding, and 
when the progress of hostility and desolation left little room for 
those calm and mature inquiries and reflections, which must ever 
precede the formation of a wise and well-balanced government for 
a free people. It is not to be wondered at, that a Government in- 
stituted in times so inauspicious, should on experiment be found 
greatly deficient and inadequate to the purpose it was intended to 

This intelligent people perceived and regretted these defects. Still 
continuing no less attached to Union, than enamored of Liberty, 
they observed the danger, which immediately threatened the former 
and more remotely the latter; and being persuaded that ample 
security for both, could only be found in a national Government 
more wisely framed, they, as with one voice, convened the late 
Convention at Philadelphia, to take that important subject under 

This Convention, composed of men who possessed the confidence 
of the people, and many of whom had become highly distinguished 
by their patriotism, virtue, and wisdom, in times which tried the 
minds and hearts of men, undertook the arduous task. In the mild 


season of peace, with minds unoccupied by other subjects, they 
passed many months in cool, uninterrupted, and daily consultations; 
and finally, without having been awed by power, or influenced by 
any passions except love for their Country, they presented and rec- 
ommended to the people the plan produced by their joint and very 
unanimous councils. 

Admit, for so is the fact, that this plan is only recommended, not 
imposed, yet let it be remembered, that it is neither recommended 
to blind approbation, nor to blind reprobation; but to that sedate 
and candid consideration, which the magnitude and importance of 
the subject demand, and which it certainly ought to receive. But 
this, (as was remarked in the foregoing number of this Paper,) is 
more to be wished than expected, that it may be so considered and 
examined. Experience on a former occasion teaches us not to be 
too sanguine in such hopes. It is not yet forgotten, that well grounded 
apprehensions of imminent danger induced the people of America 
to form the Memorable Congress of 1774. That Body recommended 
certain measures to their Constituents, and the event proved their 
wisdom; yet it is fresh in our memories how soon the Press began 
to teem with Pamphlets and weekly Papers against those very 
measures. Not only many of the Officers of Government, who 
obeyed the dictates of personal interest, but others, from a mistaken 
estimate of consequences, or the undue influence of former attach- 
ments, or whose ambition aimed at objects which did not correspond 
with the public good, were indefatigable in their endeavors to per- 
suade the people to reject the advice of that Patriotic Congress. 
Many indeed were deceived and deluded, but the great majority of 
the people reasoned and decided judiciously; and happy they are in 
reflecting that they did so. 

They considered that the Congress was composed of many wise 
and experienced men. That being convened from different parts 
of the country they brought with them and communicated to each 
other a variety of useful information. That in the course of the 
time they passed together in inquiring into and discussing the true 
interests of their country, they must have acquired very accurate 
knowledge on that head. That they were individually interested 
in the public liberty and prosperity, and therefore that it was not 


less their inclination than their duty, to recommend only such meas- 
ures as after the most mature deliberation they really thought pru- 
dent and advisable. 

These and similar considerations then induced the people to rely 
greatly on the judgment and integrity of the Congress; and they 
took their advice, notwithstanding the various arts and endeavors 
used to deter and dissuade them from it. But if the people at large 
had reason to confide in the men of that Congress, few of whom 
had then been fully tried or generally known, still greater reason 
have they now to respect the judgment and advice of the Conven- 
tion, for it is well known that some of the most distinguished mem- 
bers of that Congress, who have been since tried and justly ap- 
proved for patriotism and abilities, and who have grown old in ac- 
quiring political information, were also members of this Conven- 
tion, and carried into it their accumulated knowledge and experience. 

It is worthy of remark, that not only the first, but every succeed- 
ing Congress, as well as the late Convention, have invariably joined 
with the people in thinking that the prosperity of America depended 
on its Union. To preserve and perpetuate it, was the great object 
of the people in forming that Convention, and it is also the great 
object of the plan which the Convention has advised them to adopt* 
With what propriety, therefore, or for what good purposes, are at- 
tempts at this particular period, made by some men, to depreciate 
the importance of the Union? Or why is it suggested that three or 
four confederacies would be better than one? I am persuaded in 
my own mind, that the people have always thought right on this 
subject, and that their universal and uniform attachment to the 
cause of the Union rests on great and weighty reasons, which I 
shall endeavor to develop and explain in some ensuing papers. They 
who promote the idea of substituting a number of distinct con- 
federacies in the room of the plan of the Convention, seem clearly to 
foresee that the rejection of it would put the continuance of the 
Union in the utmost jeopardy: that certainly would be the case, 
and I sincerely wish that it may be as clearly foreseen by every good 
Citizen, that whenever the dissolution of the Union arrives, Amer- 
ica will have reason to exclaim in the words of the Poet, "FAREWELL! 



[John Marshall (1755-1835), third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the 
"United States, and the greatest of American judges, laid down in the following 
opinion certain principles which have come to be accepted as fundamental in all 
..questions touching the respective powers of the Federal government and the State 
legislatures. In 1816, Congress had incorporated the Bank of the United States; and 
in 1818, the legislature of Maryland had passed a law taxing "all Banks, or branches 
thereof, in the State of Maryland, not chartered by the legislature." The purpose of 
this law was to present the United States Bank from doing business in the State. 
McCulloch, the Cashier of the Baltimore branch, refused to pay the tax, was sued in 
the State courts, and lost. The case was appealed to the United States Supreme 
Court, where the Maryland decision was unanimously reversed. Chief Justice 
Marshall, in writing the opinion of the court, is regarded as having established certain 
principles on which depend "the stability of our peculiar dual system of national and 
local governments."] 

MR. Chief Justice Marshall delivered the opinion of the 
In the case now to be determined, the defendant, a 
sovereign State, denies the obligation of a law enacted by the legis- 
lature of the Union, and the plaintiff, on his part, contests the valid- 
ity of an act which has been passed by the legislature of that State. 
The constitution of our country, in its most interesting and vital 
parts, is to be considered; the conflicting jxnvcrs of the government 
of the Union and of its members, as marked in that constitution, 
are to be discussed; and an opinion given, which may essentially 
influence the great operations of uhe government. No tribunal can 
approach such a question without a deep sense of its importance, 
and of the awful responsibility involved in its decision. But it must 
be decided peacefully, or remain a source of hostile legislation, per- 
haps of hostility of a still more serious nature; and if it is to be so 
-decided, by this tribunal alone can the decision be made. On the 



Supreme Court of the United States has the Constitution of our 
country devolved this important duty. 

The first question made in the cause is, has Congress power to 
incorporate a bank? 

It has been truly said, that this can scarcely be considered as an 
open question, entirely unprejudiced by the former proceedings of 
the nation respecting it. The principle now contested was intro- 
duced at a very early period of our history, has been recognised by 
many successive legislatures, and has been acted upon by the judicial 
department, in cases of peculiar delicacy, as a law of undoubted 

It will not be denied that a bold and daring usurpation might be 
resisted, after an acquiescence still longer and more complete than 
this. But it is conceived that a doubtful question, one on which 
human reason may pause, and the human judgment be suspended, 
in the decision of which the great principles of liberty are not con- 
cerned, but the respective powers of those who are equally the rep- 
resentatives of the people, are to be adjusted; if not put at rest by 
the practice of the government, ought to receive a considerable im- 
pression from that practice. An exposition of the Constitution, de- 
liberately established by legislative acts, on the faith of which an 
immense property has been advanced, ought not to be lightly dis- 

The power now contested was exercised by the first Congress 
elected under the present Constitution. The bill for incorporating 
the bank of the United States did not steal upon an unsuspecting 
legislature, and pass unobserved. Its principle was completely under- 
stood, and was opposed with equal zeal and ability. After being 
resisted, first in the fair and open field of debate, and afterwards in 
the executive cabinet, with as much persevering talent as any meas- 
ure has ever experienced, and being supported by arguments which 
convinced minds as pure and as intelligent as this country can boast, 
it became a law. The original act was permitted to expire; but a 
short experience of the embarrassments to which the refusal to re- 
vive it exposed the government, convinced those who were most 
prejudiced against the measure of its necessity, and induced the pas- 
sage of the present law. It would require no ordinary share of intre- 


pidity to assert that a measure adopted under these circumstances 
was a bold and plain usurpation, to which the Constitution gave no 

These observations belong to the cause; but they are not made 
under the impression that, were the question entirely new, the law 
would be found irreconcilable with the Constitution. 

In discussing this question, the counsel for the State of Maryland 
have deemed it of some importance, in the construction of the Con- 
stitution, to consider that instrument not as emanating from the 
people, but as the act of sovereign and independent States. The 
powers of the general government, it has been said, are delegated 
by the States, who alone are truly sovereign; and must be exer- 
cised in subordination to the States, who alone possess supreme 

It would be difficult to sustain this proposition. The Convention 
which framed the Constitution was indeed elected by the State 
legislatures. But fhe instrument, when it came from their hands, 
was a mere proposal, without obligation, or pretensions to it. It 
was reported to the then existing Congress of the United States, with 
a request that it might "be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, 
chosen in each State by the People thereof, under the recommenda- 
tion of its Legislature, for their assent and ratification." This 
mode of proceeding was adopted; and by the Convention, by 
Congress, and by the State Legislatures, the instrument was sub- 
mitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only manner 
in which they can act safely, effectively, and wisely, on such a sub- 
ject, by assembling in Convention. It is true, they assembled in 
their several States and where else should they have assembled? 
No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking 
down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the 
American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when 
they act, they act in their States, put the measures they adopt do 
not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people them- 
selves, or become the measures of the State governments. 

From these Conventions the Constitution derives its whole author- 
ity. The government proceeds directly from the people; is "ordained 
and established" in the name of the people; and is declared to be 


ordained, "in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, 
ensure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to 
themselves and to their posterity." The assent o the States, in their 
sovereign capacity, is implied in calling a Convention, and thus sub- 
mitting that instrument to the people. But the people were at perfect 
liberty to accept or reject it; and their act was final. It required not 
the affirmance, and could not be negatived, by the State governments. 
The Constitution, when thus adopted, was of complete obligation, 
and bound the State sovereignties. 

It has been said, that the people had already surrendered all their 
powers to the State sovereignties, and had nothing more to give. But, 
surely, the question whether they may resume and modify the pow- 
ers granted to government does not remain to be settled in this 
country. Much more might the legitimacy of the general govern- 
ment be doubted, had it been created by the States. The powers 
delegated to the State sovereignties were to be exercised by them- 
selves, not by a distinct and independent sovereignty, created by 
themselves. To the formation of a league, such as was the confed- 
eration, the State sovereignties were certainly competent. But when, 
"in order to form a more perfect union," it was deemed necessary 
to change this alliance into an effective government, possessing great 
and sovereign powers, and acting directly on the people, the necessity 
of referring it to the people, and of deriving its powers directly from 
them, was felt and acknowledged by all. 

The government of the Union, then, (whatever may be the influ- 
ence of this fact on the case,) is, emphatically, and truly, a govern- 
ment of the people. In form and in substance it emanates from them. 
Its powers are granted by them, and are to be exercised directly on 
them, and for their benefit. 

This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated 
powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted 
to it, would seem too apparent to have required to be enforced by 
all those arguments which its enlightened friends, while it was 
depending before the people, found it necessary to urge. That prin- 
ciple is now universally admitted. But the question respecting the 
extent of the powers actually granted, is perpetually arising, and will 
probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist. 


In discussing these questions, the conflicting powers of the general 
and State governments must be brought into view, and the supremacy 
of their respective laws, when they are in opposition, must be settled. 

If any one proposition could command the universal assent of 
mankind, we might expect it would be this that the government of 
the Union, though limited in its powers, is supreme within its 
sphere of action. This would seem to result necessarily from its 
nature. It is the government of all; its powers are delegated by all; 
it represents all, and acts for all. Though any one State may be 
willing to control its operations, no State is willing to allow others 
to control them. The nation, on those subjects on which it can act, 
must necessarily bind its component parts. But this question is not 
left to mere reason: the people have, in express terms, decided it, by 
saying, "this constitution, and the laws of the United States, which 
shall be made in pursuance thereof," "shall be the supreme law of the 
land," and by requiring that the members of the State legislatures, 
and the officers of the executive and judicial departments of the 
States, shall take the oath of fidelity to it. 

The government of the United States, then, though limited in its 
powers, is supreme; and its laws, when made in pursuance of the 
Constitution, form the supreme law of the land, "any thing in the 
Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." 

Among the enumerated powers, we do not find that of establish- 
ing a bank or creating a corporation. But there is no phrase in the 
instrument which, like the Articles of Confederation, excludes inci- 
dental or implied powers; and which requires that every thing 
granted shall be expressly and minutely described. Even the xoth 
amendment, which was framed for the pur[K>se of quieting the 
excessive jealousies which had been excited, omits the word "ex- 
pressly," and declares only that the powers "not delegated to the 
United States, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States 
or to the people;" thus leaving the /question, whether the particular 
power which may become the subject of contest has been delegated 
to the one government, or prohibited to the other, to depend on a fair 
construction of the whole instrument. The men who drew and 
adopted this amendment had experienced the embarrassments result- 
ing from the insertion of this word in the Articles of Confederation, 


and probably omitted it to avoid those embarrassments. A consti- 
tution, to contain an accurate detail of all the subdivisions of which its 
great powers will admit, and of all the means by which they may be 
carried into execution, would partake of the prolixity of the legal 
code, and could scarcely be embraced by the human mind. It would 
probably never be understood by the public. Its nature, therefore, 
requires, that only its great outlines should be marked, its important 
objects designated, and the minor ingredients which compose those 
objects be deduced from the nature of the objects themselves. That 
this idea was entertained by the framers of the American Constitu- 
tion, is not only to be inferred from the nature of the instrument, 
but from the language. Why else were some of the limitations, 
found in the ninth section of the ist article, introduced? It is also, 
in some degree, warranted by their having omitted to use any re- 
strictive term which might prevent its receiving a fair and just 
interpretation. In considering this question, then, we must never 
forget, that it is a constitution we are expounding. 

Although, among the enumerated powers of government, we do 
not find the word "bank" or "incorporation," we find the great 
powers to lay and collect taxes; to borrow money; to regulate com- 
merce; to declare and conduct a war; and to raise and support armies 
and navies. The sword and the purse, all the external relations, and 
no inconsiderable portion of the industry of the nation, are entrusted 
to its government. It can never be pretended that these vast powers 
draw after them others of inferior importance, merely because they 
are inferior. Such an idea can never be advanced. But it may with 
great reason be contended, that a government, entrusted with such 
ample powers, on the due execution of which the happiness and 
prosperity of the nation so vitally depends, must also be entrusted 
with ample means for their execution. The power being given, it is 
the interest of the nation to facilitate its execution. It can never be 
their interest, and cannot be presumed to have been their intention, 
to clog and embarrass its execution by withholding the most appro- 
priate means. Throughout this vast republic, from the St. Croix to 
the Gulf of Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, revenue is to be 
collected and expended, armies are to be marched and supported. 
The exigencies of the nation may require that the treasure raised in 


the north should be transported to the south, that raised in the east 
conveyed to the west, or that this order should be reversed. Is that 
construction of the Constitution to be preferred which would render 
these operations difficult, hazardous, and expensive? Can we adopt 
that construction, (unless the words imperiously require it,) which 
would impute to the framers of that instrument, when granting these 
powers for the public good, the intention of impeding their exercise 
by withholding a choice of means? If, indeed, such be the mandate 
of the Constitution, we have only to obey; but that instrument does 
not profess to enumerate the means by which the powers it confers 
may be executed; nor does it prohibit the creation of a corporation, 
if the existence of such a being be essential to the beneficial exercise 
of those powers. It is then, the subject of fair inquiry, how far such 
means may be employed. 

It is not denied that the powers given to the government imply 
the ordinary means of execution. That, for example, of raising rev- 
enue, and to national purposes, is admitted to imply the 
power of conveying money from place to place, as the exigencies of 
the nation may require, and of employing the usual means of con- 
veyance. But it is denied that the government has its choice of 
means; or, that it may employ the most convenient means; if, to 
employ them, it be necessary to erect a corporation. 

On what foundation does this argument rest? On this alone: 
The power of creating a corporation, is one appertaining to sov- 
ereignty, and is not expressly conferred on Congress. This is true. 
But all legislative powers appertain to sovereignty. The original 
power of giving the law on any subject whatsoever, is a sovereign 
power; and if the government of the Union is restrained from cre- 
ating a corporation, as a means for performing its functions, on the 
single reason that the creation of a corporation is an act of sov- 
ereignty; if the sufficiency of this reason be acknowledged, there 
would be some difficulty in sustaining the authority of Congress to 
pass other laws for the accomplishment of the same objects. 

The government which has a right to do an act, and has imposed 
on it the duty of performing that act, must, according to the dictates 
of reason, be allowed to select the means; and those who contend 
that it may not select any appropriate means, that one particular 


mode of effecting the object is excepted, take upon themselves the 
burden of establishing that exception. 

The creadon of a corporation, it is said, appertains to sovereignty. 
This is admitted. But to what portion of sovereignty does it apper- 
tain ? Does it belong to one more than to another ? In America, the 
powers of sovereignty are divided between the government of the 
Union, and those of the States. They are each sovereign, with respect 
to the objects committed to it, and neither sovereign with respect to 
the objects committed to the other. We cannot comprehend that 
train of reasoning which would maintain, that the extent of power 
granted by the people is to be ascertained, not by the nature and 
terms of the grant, but by its date. Some State constitutions were 
formed before, some since that of the United States. We cannot 
believe that their relation to each other is in any degree dependent 
upon this circumstance. Their respective powers must, we think, 
be precisely the same as if they had been formed at the same time. 
Had they been formed at the same time, and had the people con- 
ferred on the general government the power contained in the Consti- 
tution, and on the States the whole residuum of power, would it 
have been asserted that the government of the Union was not sov- 
ereign with respect to those objects which were entrusted to it, in 
relation to which its laws were declared to be supreme? If this 
could not have been asserted, we cannot well comprehend the process 
of reasoning which maintains, that a power appertaining to sov- 
ereignty cannot be connected with the vast portion of it which is 
granted to the general government, so far as it is calculated to sub- 
serve the legitimate objects of that government. The power of 
creating a corporation, though appertaining to sovereignty, is not, 
like the power of making war, or levying taxes, or of regulating 
commerce, a great substantive and independent power, which cannot 
be implied as incidental to other powers, or used as a means of 
executing them. It is never the end for which 
exercised, but a means by which other objects 
No contributions are made to charity for the s^s^ot^fS incorpora 
tion, but a corporation is created to administer Jpw&mrity; 
nary of learning is instituted in order to be m^^r^&^DuL tfce 
corporate character is conferred to subserve t^ p^{x>fes df edu^a- 


tion. No city was ever built with the sole object of being incor- 
porated, but is incorporated as affording the best means of being well 
governed. The power of creating a corporation is never used for its 
own sake, but for the purpose of effecting something else. No suf- 
ficient reason is, therefore, perceived, why it may not pass as inci- 
dental to those powers which are expressly given, if it be a direct 
mode of executing them. 

But the Constitution of the United States has not left the right 
of Congress to employ the necessary means, for the execution of the 
powers conferred on the government, to general reasoning. To its 
enumeration of powers is added that of making "all laws which shall 
be necessary and proper, for carrying into execution the foregoing 
powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution, in the 
government of the United States, or in any department thereof." 

The counsel for the State of Maryland have urged various argu- 
ments, to prove that this clause, though in terms a grant of power, 
is not so in effect; but is really restrictive of the general right, which 
might otherwise be implied, of selecting means for executing the 
enumerated powers. 

In support of this proposition, they have found it necessary to 
contend, that this clause was inserted for the purpose of conferring 
on Congress the power of making laws. That, without it, doubts 
might be entertained, whether Congress could exercise its powers 
in the form of legislation. 

But could this be the object for which it was inserted? A govern- 
ment is created by the people, having legislative, executive, and judi- 
cial powers. Its legislative powers are vested in a Congress, which is 
to consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. Each house may 
determine the rule of its proceedings; and it is declared that every 
bill which shall have passed both houses, shall, before it becomes a 
law, be presented to the President of the United States. The yth 
section describes the course of proceedings, by which a bill shall 
become a law; and, then, the 8th section enumerates the powers of 
Congress. Could it be necessary to say, that a legislature should 
exercise legislative powers, in the shape of legislation ? After allow- 
ing each house to prescribe its own course of proceeding, after 
describing the manner in which a bill should become a law, would 


it have entered into the mind of a single member of the Convention, 
that an express power to make laws was necessary to enable the 
legislature to make them? That a legislature, endowed with legis- 
lative powers, can legislate, is a proposition too self-evident to have 
been questioned. 

But the argument on which most reliance is placed, is drawn from 
the peculiar language of this clause. Congress is not empowered by 
it to make all laws, which may have relation to the powers conferred 
on the government, but such only as may be "necessary and proper" 
for carrying them into execution. The word "necessary" is considered 
as controlling the whole sentence, and as limiting the right to pass 
laws for the execution of the granted powers, to such as are indis- 
pensable, and without which the power would be nugatory. That it 
excludes the choice of means, and leaves to Congress in each case, 
that only which is most direct and simple. 

Is it true, that this is the sense in which the word "necessary" is 
always used? Does it always import an absolute physical necessity, 
so strong, that one thing, to which another may be termed necessary, 
cannot exist without that other? We think it does not. If reference 
be had to its use, in the common affairs of the world, or in approved 
authors, we find that it frequently imports no more than that one 
thing is convenient, or useful, or essential to another. To employ 
the means necessary to an end, is generally understood as employing 
any means calculated to produce the end, and not as being confined 
to those single means, without which the end would be entirely 
unattainable. Such is the character of human language, that no word 
conveys to the mind, in all situations, one single definite idea; and 
nothing is more common than to use words in a figurative sense. 
Almost all compositions contain words, which, taken in their rigor- 
ous sense, would convey a meaning different from that which is 
obviously intended. It is essential to just construction, that many 
words which import something excessive, should be understood in 
a more mitigated sense in that sense which common usage justifies. 
The word "necessary" is of this description. It has not a fixed char- 
acter peculiar to itself. It admits of all degrees of comparison; and 
is often connected with other words, which increase or diminish the 
impression the mind receives of the urgency it imports. A thing 


may be necessary, very necessary, absolutely or indispensably neces- 
sary. To no mind would the same idea be conveyed, by these several 
phrases. This comment on the word is well illustrated, by the 
passage cited at the bar, from the loth section of the ist article of the 
Constitution. It is, we think, impossible to compare the sentence 
which prohibits a State from laying "imposts, or duties on imports 
or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its 
inspection laws," with that which authorizes Congress "to make all 
laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution" 
the powers of the general government, without feeling a conviction 
that the convention understood itself to change materially the mean- 
ing of the word "necessary," by prefixing the word "absolutely.* 1 
This word, then, like others, is used in various senses; and, in its 
construction, the subject, the context, the intention of the person 
using them, are all to be taken into view. 

Let this be done in the case under consideration. The subject is 
the execution of t^hose great powers on which the welfare of a nation 
essentially depends. It must have been the intention of those who 
gave these powers, to insure, as far as human prudence could insure, 
their beneficial execution. This could not be done by confiding the 
choice of means to such narrow limits as not to leave it in the power 
of Congress to adopt any which might be appropriate, and which 
were conducive to the end. This provision is made in a constitution 
intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently, to be adapted 
to the various crises of human affairs. To have prescribed the means 
by which government should, in all future time, execute its powers, 
would have been to change, entirely, the character of the instrument, 
and give it the properties of a legal code. It would have been an 
uawise attempt to provide, by immutable rules, for exigencies which, 
if foreseen at all, must have been seen dimly, and which can be best 
provided for as they occur. To have declared that the best means 
shall not be used, but those alone without which the power given 
would be nugatory, would have been to deprive the legislature of 
the capacity to avail itself of experience, to exercise its reason, and 
to accommodate its legislation to circumstances. If we apply this 
principle of construction to any of the powers of the government, we 
shall find it so pernicious in its operation that we shall be compelled 


to discard it. The powers vested in Congress may certainly be carried 
into execution, without prescribing an oath of office. The power to 
exact this security for the faithful performance of duty, is not given, 
nor is it indispensably necessary. The different departments may be 
established; taxes may be imposed and collected; armies and navies 
may be raised and maintained; and money may be borrowed, with- 
out requiring an oath of office. It might be argued, with as much 
plausibility as other incidental powers have been assailed, that the 
Convention was not unmindful of this subject. The oath which 
might be exacted that of fidelity to the Constitution is prescribed, 
and no other can be required. Yet, he would be charged with insan- 
ity who should contend, that the legislature might not superadd, to 
the oath directed by the Constitution such other oath of office as its 
wisdom might suggest. 

So, with respect to the whole penal code of the United States: 
whence arises the power to punish in cases not prescribed by the 
Constitution? All admit that the government may, legitimately, 
punish any violation of its laws; and yet, this is not among the enu- 
merated powers of Congress. The right to enforce the observance of 
law, by punishing its infraction, might be denied with the more 
plausibility, because it is expressly given in some cases. Congress is 
empowered "to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the 
securities and current coin of the United States," and "define and 
punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences 
against the law of nations." The several powers of Congress may 
exist, in a very imperfect state to be sure, but they may exist and be 
carried into execution, although no punishment should be inflicted 
in cases where the right to punish is not expressly given. 

Take, for example, the power "to establish post offices and post 
roads." This power is executed by the single act of making the 
establishment. But, from this has been inferred the power and duty 
of carrying the mail along the post road, from one post office to 
another. And, from this implied power, has again been inferred the 
right to punish those who steal letters from the post office, or rob 
the mail. It may be said, with some plausibility, that the right to 
carry the mail, and to punish those who rob it, is not indispensably 
necessary to the establishment of a post office and post road. This 


right is indeed essential to the beneficial exercise of the power, but 
not indispensably necessary to its existence. So, of the punishment 
of the crimes of stealing or falsifying a record or process of a Court 
of the United States, or of perjury in such Court. To punish these 
offences is certainly conducive to the due administration of justice. 
But courts may exist, and may decide the causes brought before them, 
though such crimes escape punishment. 

The baneful influence of this narrow construction on all the 
operations of the government, and the absolute impracticability of 
maintaining it without rendering the government incompetent to 
its great objects, might be illustrated by numerous examples drawn 
from the Constitution, and from our laws. The good sense of the 
public has pronounced, without hesitation, that the power of punish- 
ment appertains to sovereignty, and may be exercised whenever the 
sovereign has a right to act, as incidental to his constitutional powers. 
It is a means for carrying into execution all sovereign powers, and 
may be used, Although not indispensably necessary. It is a right 
incidental to the power, and conducive to its beneficial exercise. 

If this limited construction of the word "necessary" must be aban- 
doned in order to punish, whence is derived the rule which would 
reinstate it, when the government would carry its powers into execu- 
tion by means not vindictive to their nature? If the word "necessary" 
means "needful," "requisite," "essential," "conducive to," in order to 
let in the power of punishment for the infraction of law; why is it 
not equally comprehensive when required to authorize the use of 
means which facilitate the execution of the powers of government 
without the infliction of punishment? 

In ascertaining the sense in which the word "necessary" is used 
in this clause of the Constitution, we may derive some aid from that 
with which it is associated. Congress shall have power "to make all 
laws which shall be necessary and proper to carry into execution" the 
powers of the government. If the word "necessary" was used in that 
strict and rigorous sense for which the counsel for the State of Mary- 
land contend, it would be an extraordinary departure from the usual 
course of the human mind, as exhibited in composition, to add a 
word, the only possible effect of which is to qualify that strict and 
rigorous meaning; to present to the mind the idea of some choice 


of means of legislation not straitened and compressed within the 
narrow limits for which gentlemen contend. 

But the argument which most conclusively demonstrates the error 
of the construction contended for by the counsel for the State of 
Maryland, is founded on the intention of the Convention, as mani- 
fested in the whole clause. To waste time and argument in proving 
that, without it, Congress might carry its powers into execution, 
would be not much less idle than to hold a lighted taper to the sun. 
As little can it be required to prove, that in the absence of this clause, 
Congress would have some choice of means. That it might employ 
those which, in its judgment, would most advantageously effect the 
object to be accomplished. That any means adapted to the end, any 
means which tended directly to the execution of the constitutional 
powers of the government, were in themselves constitutional. This 
clause, as construed by the State of Maryland, would abridge, and 
almost annihilate this useful and necessary right of the legislature 
to select its means. That this could not be intended, is, we should 
think, had it not been already controverted, too apparent for con- 
troversy. We think so for the following reasons: 

i st. The clause is placed among the powers of Congress, not 
among the limitations on those powers. 

2nd. Its terms purport to enlarge, not to diminish the powers 
vested in the government. It purports to be an additional power, 
not a restriction on those already granted. No reason has been, or 
can be assigned for thus concealing an intention to narrow the dis- 
cretion of the national legislature under words which purport to 
enlarge it. The framers of the Constitution wished its adoption, and 
well know that it would be endangered by its strength, not by its 
weakness. Had they been capable of using language which would 
convey to the eye one idea, and after deep reflection, impress on 
the mind another, they would rather have disguised the grant of 
power, than its limitation. If, then, their intention had been, by 
this clause, to restrain the free use of means which might otherwise 
have been implied, that intention would have been inserted in 
another place, and would have been expressed in terms resembling 
these. "In carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all 
others," &c. "no laws shall be passed but, such as are necessary and 


proper." Had the intention been to make this clause restrictive, it 
would unquestionably have been so in form as well as in effect. 

The result of the most careful and attentive consideration bestowed 
upon this clause is, that if it does not enlarge, it cannot be construed 
to restrain the powers of Congress, or to impair the right of the 
legislature to exercise its best judgment in the selection of measures 
to carry into execution the constitutional powers of the government. 
If no other motive for its insertion can be suggested, a sufficient one 
is found in the desire to remove all doubts respecting the right to 
legislate on that vast mass of incidental powers which must be 
involved in the Constitution, if that instrument be not a splendid 

We admit, as all must admit, that the powers of the government 
are limited, and that its limits are not to be transcended. But we 
think the sound construction of the Constitution must allow to the 
national legislature that discretion, with respect to the means by 
which the powers it confers are to be carried into execution, which 
will enable that body to perform the high duties assigned to it, in 
the manner most beneficial to the people. Let the end be legitimate, 
let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which 
are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are 
not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the Consti- 
tution, are constitutional. 

That a corporation must be considered as a means not less usual, 
not of higher dignity, not more requiring a particular specification 
than other means, has been sufficiently proved. If we look to the 
origin of corporations, to the manner in which they have been 
framed in that government from which we have derived most of 
our legal principles and ideas, or to the uses to which they have 
been applied, we find no reason to suppose that a constitution, 
omitting, and wisely omitting, to enumerate all the means for carry- 
ing into execution the great powers vested in government, ought to 
have specified this. Had it been intended to grant this power as one 
which should be distinct and independent, to be exercised in any 
case whatever, k would have found a place among the enumerated 
powers of the government. But being considered merely as a means, 
to be employed only for the purpose of carrying into execution the 


given powers, there could be no motive for particularly mention- 
ing it. 

The propriety of this remark would seem to be generally acknowl- 
edged by the universal acquiescence in the construction which has 
been uniformly put on the 3rd section of the 4th article of the Con- 
stitution. The power to "make all needful rules and regulations 
respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United 
States," is not more comprehensive, than the power "to make all 
laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution" 
the powers of the government. Yet all admit the constitutionality of 
a territorial government, which is a corporate body. If a corporation 
may be employed indiscriminately with other means to carry into 
execution the powers of the government, no particular reason can 
be assigned for excluding the use of a bank, if required for its fiscal 
operations. To use one, must be within the discretion of Congress, 
if it be an appropriate mode of executing the powers of government. 
That it is a convenient, a useful, and essential instrument in the 
prosecution of its fiscal operations, is not now a subject of contro- 
versy. All those who have been concerned in the administration of 
our finances, have concurred in representing its importance and 
necessity; and so strongly have they been felt, that statesmen of the 
first class, whose previous opinions against it had been confirmed by 
every circumstance which can fix the human judgment, have yielded 
those opinions to the exigencies of the nation. Under the confedera- 
tion, Congress, justifying the measure by its necessity, transcended 
perhaps its powers to obtain the advantage of a bank; and our own 
legislation attests the universal conviction of the utility of this meas- 
ure. The time has passed away when it can be necessary to enter 
into any discussion in order to prove the importance of this instru* 
meat, as a means to effect the legitimate objects of the government. 

But, were its necessity less apparent, none can deny its being an 
appropriate measure; and if it is, the degree of its necessity, as has 
been very justly observed, is to be discussed in another place. Should 
Congress, in the execution of its powers, adopt measures which are 
prohibited by the Constitution; or should Congress, under the pre- 
text of executing its powers, pass laws for the accomplishment of 
objects not entrusted to the government; it would become the painful 


duty of this tribunal, should a case requiring such a decision come 
before it, to say that such an act was not the law of the land. But 
where the law is not prohibited, and is really calculated to effect any 
of the objects entrusted to the government, to undertake here to 
inquire into the degree of its necessity, would be to pass the line 
which circumscribes the judicial department, and to tread on legis- 
lative ground. This court disclaims all pretensions to such a power. 

After this declaration, it can scarcely be necessary to say, that the 
existence of State banks can have no possible influence on the ques- 
tion. No trace is to be found in the Constitution of an intention to 
create a dependence of the government of the Union on those of the 
States, for the execution of the great powers assigned to it. Its means 
are adequate to its ends; and on those means alone was it expected 
to rely for the accomplishment of its ends. To impose on it the 
necessity of resorting to means which it cannot control, which another 
government may furnish or withhold, would render its course pre- 
carious, the result of its measures uncertain, and create a dependence 
on other governments, which might disappoint its most important 
designs, and is incompatible with the language of the Constitution. 
But were it otherwise, the choice of means implies a right to choose 
a national bank in preference to State banks, and Congress alone 
can make the election. 

After the most deliberate consideration, it is the unanimous and 
decided opinion of this Court, that the act to incorporate the Bank 
of the United States is a law made in pursuance of the Constitution, 
and is a part of the supreme law of the land. 

The branches, proceeding from the same stock, and being con- 
ducive to the complete accomplishment of the object, are equally 
constitutional. It would have been unwise to locate them in the 
charter, and it would be unnecessarily inconvenient to employ the 
legislative power in making those subordinate arrangements. The 
great duties of the bank are prescribed, those duties require branches; 
and the bank itself may, we think, be safely trusted with the selection 
of places where those branches shall be fixed; reserving always to 
the government the right to require that a branch shall be located 
where it may be deemed necessary. 



[At the first election held under the Constitution, George Washington, who had 
been chairman of the convention which framed the Constitution, was unanimously 
chosen President. The inaugural address was delivered in Federal Hall, at Wall and 
Nassau Streets, New York, April 30, 1789.] 

Fellow-Citizens : 

AONG the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have 
filled me with greater anxieties, than that of which the 
notification was transmitted by your order, and received on 
the i4th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was sum- 
moned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with 
veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the 
fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable 
decision, as the asylum of my declining years; a retreat which was 
rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me, by 
the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in 
my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the 
other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust, to which the 
voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the 
wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny 
into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence 
one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature, and unprac- 
ticed in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly 
conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions, all 
I dare aver, is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty 
from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be 
affected. All I dare hope is, that, if in executing this task, I have been 
too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or 
by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the con- 
fidence of my fellow-citizens; and have thence too little consulted 



my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried 
cares before me; my error will be palliated by the motives which 
misled me, and its consequences be judged by my country with some 
share of the partiality in which they originated. 

Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to 
the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be 
peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent sup- 
plications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who 
presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can 
supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to 
the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a gov- 
ernment instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and 
may enable every instrument employed in its administration to 
execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tender- 
ing this homage to the great Author of every public and private 
good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than 
my own; nor 'those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. 
No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible 
hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of 
the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the 
character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished 
by some token of providential agency. And, in the important revolu- 
tion just accomplished in the system of their united government, the 
tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct 
communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be com- 
pared with the means by which most governments have been estab- 
lished, without some return of pious gratitude along with an humble 
anticipation of the future blessings which the past seems to presage. 
These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced them- 
selves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with 
me, I trust, in thinking that there are none, under the influence of 
which the proceedings of a new and free government can more 
auspiciously commence. 

By the article establishing the executive department, it is made the 
duty of the President "to recommend to your consideration such 
measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.*' The circum- 
stances, under which I now meet you, will acquit me from entering 


into that subject farther than to refer you to the great constitutional 
charter under which we are assembled; and which, in defining your 
powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. 
It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more 
congenial with the feelings which actuate me, to substitute, in place 
of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due 
to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism, which adorn the 
characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honorable 
qualifications I behold the surest pledges, that as, on one side, no 
local prejudices or attachments, no separate views or party animosi- 
ties, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye, which ought 
to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests; 
so, on another, that the foundations of our national policy will be 
laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and 
the preeminence of a free government be exemplified by all the 
attributes, which can win the affections of its citizens, and command 
the respect of the world. 

I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction, which an ardent 
love for my country can inspire; since there is no truth more thor- 
oughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course 
of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, be- 
tween duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest 
and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity 
and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propi- 
tious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that dis- 
regards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has 
ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and 
the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly consid- 
ered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked on the experiment intrusted 
to the hands of the American people. 

Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain 
with your judgment to decide, how far an exercise of the occasional 
power delegated by the fifth article of the Constitution is rendered 
expedient at the present juncture by the nature of objections which 
have been urged against the system, or by the degree of inquietude 
which has given birth to them. Instead of undertaking particular 
recommendations on this subject, in which I could be guided by no 


lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to 
my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public 
good; for I assure myself, that, whilst you carefully avoid every altera- 
tion, which might endanger the benefits of a united and effective 
government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experi- 
ence, a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard 
for the public harmony, will sufficiently influence your deliberations 
on the question, how far the former can be more impregnably forti- 
fied, or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted. 

To the preceding observations 1 have one to add, which will be 
most properly addressed to the House of Representatives. It concerns 
myself, and will therefore be as brief as possible. When I was first 
honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve 
of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contem- 
plated my duty required, that I should renounce every pecuniary 
compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed. 
And being still under the impressions which produced it, 1 must 
decline as inapplicable to myself, any share in the personal emolu- 
ments, which may be indispensably included in a permanent provi- 
sion for the executive department; and must accordingly pray, that 
the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed, may, 
during my continuance in it, be limited to such actual expenditures 
as the public good may be thought to require. 

Having thus imparted to you my sentiments, as they have been 
awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my 
present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign 
Parent of the human race, in humble supplication, that, since he has 
been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for 
deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with 
unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of 
their union and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine 
blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the tem- 
perate consultations, and the wise measures, on which the success 
of this government must depend. 



[The confederation of Indian tribes known as the Iroquois, or Six Nations, included 
the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayugas, the Senecas, and the 
Tuscaroras. This treaty, concluded November n, 1794, fixed the limits of the terri- 
tory to be left in the possession of these tribes, who had fought against the colonies 
in the War of Independence.] 

THE President of the United States having determined to 
hold a conference with the Six Nations of Indians, for the 
purpose of removing from their minds all causes of com- 
plaint, and establishing a firm and permanent friendship with them; 
and Timothy Pickering being appointed sole agent for that purpose; 
and the agent having met and conferred with the Sachems, Chiefs 
and Warriors of the Six Nations, in a general council: Now in order 
to accomplish the good design of this conference, the parties have 
agreed on the following articles, which, when ratified by the Presi- 
dent, with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, 
shall be binding on them and the Six Nations. 


Peace and friendship are hereby firmly established, and shall be 
perpetual, between the United States and the Six Nations. 


The United States acknowledge the lands reserved to the Oneida, 
Onondaga and Cayuga Nations, in their respective treaties with the 
state of New York, and called their reservations, to be their property; 
and the United States will never claim the same, nor disturb them 
or either of the Six Nations, nor their Indian friends residing thereon 
and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof: but the 
said reservations shall remain theirs, until they choose to sell the 
same to the people of the United States who have right to purchase. 




The land of the Seneka nation is bounded as follows: Beginning 
on Lake Ontario, at the north-west corner of the land they sold to 
Oliver Phelps, the line run westerly along the lake, as far as O-yong- 
wong-yeh Creek at Johnson's Landing-place, about four miles east- 
ward from the fort of Niagara; then southerly up that creek to its 
main fork, then straight to the main fork of Stedman's Creek, which 
empties into the river Niagara, above Fort Schlosser, and then on- 
ward, from that fork, continuing the same straight course, to that 
river; (this line, from the mouth of Q-yong-wong-yeh Creek to the 
river Niagara, above Fort Schlosser, being the eastern boundary of 
a strip of land, extending from the same line to Niagara River, which 
the Seneka nation ceded to the King of Great Britain, at a treaty 
held about thirty years ago, with Sir William Johnson;) then the line 
runs along the river Niagara to Lake Erie; then along Lake Erie 
to the north-east corner of a triangular piece of land which the United 
States conveyed to the state of Pennsylvania, as by the President's 
patent, dated the third day of March, 1792; then due south to the 
northern boundary of that state; then due east to the south-west 
corner of the land sold by the Seneka nation to Oliver Phelps; and 
then north and northerly, along Phelps's line, to the place beginning 
on Lake Ontario. Now, the United States acknowledge all the land 
within the aforementioned boundaries, to be the property of the 
Seneka nation; and the United States will never claim the same, nor 
disturb the Seneka nation, nor any of the Six Nations, or their 
Indian friends residing thereon and united with them, in the free use 
and enjoyment thereof: but it shall remain theirs, until they choose 
to sell the same to the people of the United States, who have the right 
to purchase. 


The United States having thus described and acknowledged what 
lands belong to the Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senekas, and 
engaged never to claim the same, nor to disturb them, or any of the 
Six Nations, or their Indian friends residing thereon and united with 
them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof: Now the Six Nations, 


and each of them, hereby engage that they will never claim any 
other lands within the boundaries of the United States; nor ever 
disturb the people of the United States in the free use and enjoyment 


The Seneka nation, all others of the Six Nations concurring, cede 
to the United States the right of making a wagon road from Fort 
Schlosser to Lake Erie, as far south as Buff aloe Creek; and the people 
of the United States shall have the free and undisturbed use of this 
road, for the purposes of travelling and transportation. And the Six 
Nations, and each of them, will forever allow to the people of the 
United States, a free passage through their lands, and the free use 
of their harbors and rivers adjoining and within their respective 
tracts of land, for the passing and securing of vessels and boats, and 
liberty to land their cargoes when necessary for their safety. 


In consideration of the peace and friendship hereby established, 
and of the engagements entered into by the Six Nations; and because 
the United States desire, with humanity and kindness, to contribute 
to their comfortable support; and to render the peace and friend- 
ship hereby established strong and perpetual; the United States now 
deliver to the Six Nations, and the Indians of the other nations re- 
siding among and united with them, a quantity of goods of the 
value of ten thousand dollars. And for the same considerations, and 
with a view to promote the future welfare of the Six Nations, and of 
their Indian friends aforesaid, the United States will add the sum 
of three thousand dollars to the one thousand five hundred dollars, 
heretofore allowed them by an article ratified by the President, on the 
twenty-third day of April 1792; making in the whole, four thousand 
five hundred dollars; which shall be expended yearly forever, in 
purchasing clothing, domestic animals, implements of husbandry and 
other utensils suited to their circumstances, and in compensating use- 
ful artificers, who shall reside with them or near them, and be 
employed for their benefit. The immediate application of the whole 
annual allowance now stipulated, to be made by the superintendent 


appointed by the President for the affairs of the Six Nations, and 
their Indian friends aforesaid. 


Lest the firm peace and friendship now established should be 
interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, the United States and 
Six Nations agree, that for injuries done by individuals on either 
side, no private revenge or retaliation shall take place; but, instead 
thereof, complaint shall be made by the party injured, to the other: 
By the Six Nations or any of them, to the President of the United 
States, or the Superintendent by him appointed: and by the Super- 
intendent, or other person appointed by the President, to the prin- 
cipal chiefs of the Six Nations, or of the nation to which the offender 
belongs: and such prudent measures shall then be pursued as shall 
be necessary to preserve our peace and friendship unbroken; until 
the legislature (or great council ) of the United States shall make the 
equitable provision for the purpose. 

NOTE: It is clearly understood by the parties to this treaty, that 
the annuity stipulated in the sixth article, is to be applied to the 
benefit of such of the Six Nations and of their Indian friends united 
with them as aforesaid, as do or shall reside within the boundaries 
of the United States: for the United States do not interfere with 
nations, tribes or families, of Indians elsewhere resident. 


(i 79 6) 

f Washington refused to be a candidate for a third term of the Presidency; and in 
May, 1796, he sent to Hamilton a rough draft of his farewell address, asking for his 
criticism. After much revision by both the document was published on Sept. 19, 
and was read to the House of Representatives. The advice contained in it has ever 
since exercised a profound influence on the policy of the nation.] 

Friends and Fellow-Citizens: 

THE period for a new election of a Citizen, to administer the 
Executive Government of the United States, being not far 
distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts 
must be employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed 
with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it 
may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I 
should now apprize you of the resolution I have formed, to decline 
being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice 
is to be made. 

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured, that 
this resolution has not been taken, without a strict regard to all the 
considerations appertaining to the relation, which binds a dutiful 
citizen to his country and that, in withdrawing the tender of 
service which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced 
by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of 
grateful respect for your past kindness; but am supported by a full 
conviction that the step is compatible with both. 

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which 
your suffrages have twice called me, have been a uniform sacrifice 
of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what 
appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have 
been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives, which I 
was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement, from 



which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclina- 
tion to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the prep- 
aration of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on 
the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign 
Nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my con- 
fidence, impelled me to abandon the idea. 

I rejoice, that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, 
no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the 
sentiment of duty, or propriety; and am persuaded, whatever par- 
tiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circum- 
stances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination 
to retire. 

The impressions, with which I first undertook the arduous trust, 
were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this 
trust, I will only say, that I have, with good intentions, contributed 
towards the organization and administration of the government, 
the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. 
Not unconscious, in the outset, of the inferiority of my qualifications, 
experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, 
has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day 
the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that 
the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. 
Satisfied, that, if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my 
services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe, that, 
while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, 
patriotism does not forbid it. 

In looking forward to the moment, which is intended to terminate 
the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend 
the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude, which I owe 
to my beloved country, for the many honors it has conferred upon 
me; still more for the stedfast confidence with which it has supported 
me; and for the opportunities I jiave thence enjoyed of manifesting 
my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, 
though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted 
to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to 
your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under 
circumstances in which the Passions, agitated in every direction, 


were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicis- 
situdes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not 
unf requently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, 
the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, 
and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Pro- 
foundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my 
grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may 
continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence that your 
union and brotherly affection may be perpetual that the free Con- 
stitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly main- 
tained that its administration in every department may be stamped 
with wisdom and virtue that, in fine, the happiness of the people 
of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, 
by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing, as 
will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, 
the affection, and adoption of every nation, which is yet a stranger 
to it. 

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, 
which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, 
natural to that solicitude, urge me on an occasion like the present, 
to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your 
frequent review, some sentiments; which are the result of much 
reflection, of no inconsiderable observation and which appear to me 
all important to the permanency of your felicity as a People. These 
will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see 
in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can pos- 
sibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, 
as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments 
on a former and not dissimilar occasion. 

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your 
hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm 
the attachment. 

The Unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is 
also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main Pillar in the 
Edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquillity 
at home; your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity in, 
every shape; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But 


as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes, and from different 
quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to 
weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the 
point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal 
and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though 
often covertly and insidiously) directed it is of infinite moment, that 
you should properly estimate the immense value of your national 
Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should 
cherish a cordial, habitual, and immoveable attachment to it; accus- 
toming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of 
your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation 
with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even 
a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly 
frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any 
portion of our Country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties 
which now link together the various parts. 

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. 
Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has 
a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, 
which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the 
just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local 
discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same 
Religion, Manners, Habits, and Political Principles. You have in a 
common cause fought and triumphed together; the Independence 
and Liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint 
efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes. 

But these considerations, however powerfully they address them- 
selves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply 
more immediately to your Interest. Here every portion of our 
country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding 
and preserving the Union of the whole. 

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, pro- 
tected by the equal Laws of a cohimon government, finds, in the 
productions of the latter, great additional resources of maritime and 
commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing 
industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the 
agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce 


expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen o the 
North, it finds its particular navigation envigorated; and, while it 
contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general 
mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of 
a maritime strength to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, 
in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the pro- 
gressive improvement of interior communications, by land and water, 
will more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities which 
it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives 
from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and 
what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe 
the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions 
to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the 
Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of 
interest as one Nation* Any other tenure by which the West can 
hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate 
strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any 
foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious. 

While then every part of our Country thus feels an immediate 
and particular interest in Union, all the parts combined in the united 
mass of means and efforts cannot fail to find greater strength, greater 
resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less 
frequent interruption of their Peace by foreign Nations; and, what 
is of inestimable value! they must derive from Union an exemption 
from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently 
afflict neighbouring countries, not tied together by the same govern- 
ments; which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to pro- 
duce; but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues 
would stimulate and embitter. Hence likewise they will avoid the 
necessity of those overgrown Military establishments, which, under 
any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are 
to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty. In this 
sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop 
to your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you 
the preservation of the other. 

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflect- 
ing and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the UNION as 


a primary object of Patriotic desire. Is there a doubt, whether a 
common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience 
solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. 
We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole, 
with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective sub- 
divisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth 
a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives 
to Union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall 
not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be 
reason to distrust the patriotism of those, who in any quarter may 
endeavour to weaken its bands. 

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it 
occurs as matter of serious concern, that any ground should have 
been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discrimina- 
tions Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence de- 
signing men may endeavour to excite a belief, that there is a real 
difference of loc^l interests and views. One of the expedients of 
Party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepre- 
sent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield 
yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart burnings, which 
spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to 
each other those, who ought to be bound together by fraternal affec- 
tion. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a 
useful lesson on this head they have seen, in the negotiation by the 
Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the 
treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, 
throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were 
the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General 
Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests 
in regard to the MISSISSIPPI they have been witnesses to the forma- 
tion of two Treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, 
which secure to them every thing they could desire, in respect to our 
Foreign Relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not 
be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on 
the UNION by which they were procured ? Will they not henceforth 
be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them 
from their Brethren, and connect them with Aliens? 


To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a Government for 
the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict between the 
parts can be an adequate substitute. They must inevitably experi- 
ence the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times 
have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have im- 
proved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of 
Government, better calculated than your former for an intimate 
Union, and for the efficacious management of your common con- 
cerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice uninflu- 
enced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature 
deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of 
its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself 
a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your con- 
fidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance 
with its Laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by 
the fundamental maxims of true Liberty. The basis of our political 
systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Consti- 
tutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time 
exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole 
People, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power 
and the right of the People to establish Government presupposes the 
duty of every individual to obey the established Government. 

All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and 
associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design 
to direct, controul, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and 
action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this funda- 
mental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize 
faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force to put in the 
place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party; often a 
small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, 
according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the 
public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous 
projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome 
plans digested by common councils, and modified by mutual inter- 
ests. However combinations or associations of the above descriptions 
may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course 
of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, 


ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the 
Power of the People, and to usurp for themselves the reins of Govern- 
ment; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them 
to unjust dominion. 

Towards the preservation of your Government, and the per- 
manency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you 
steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged 
authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation 
upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of 
assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations 
which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine 
what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which 
you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as 
necessary to fix the true character of Governments, as of other human 
institutions that experience is the surest standard, by which to test 
the real tendency of the existing Constitution of a Country that 
facility in changes' upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion 
exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis 
and opinion: and remember, especially, that, for the efficient man- 
agement of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, 
a Government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect 
security of Liberty is indispensible. Liberty itself will find in such 
a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its 
surest Guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the 
Government is too feeble to withstand the enterprise of faction, to 
confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by 
the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment 
of the rights of person and property. 

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, 
with particular reference to the founding of them on Geographical 
discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and 
warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of 
the Spirit of Party, generally. 

This Spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having 
its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under 
different shapes in all Governments, more or less stifled, controuled, 


or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest 
rankness, and is truly their worst enemy. 

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened 
by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different 
ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is 
itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal 
and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which re- 
sult, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose 
in the absolute power of an Individual; and sooner or later the chief 
of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his 
competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own eleva- 
tion, on the ruins of Public Liberty. 

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which 
nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and 
continual mischiefs of the spirit of Party are sufficient to make it the 
interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. 

It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the 
Public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded 
jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against 
another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the 
door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated 
access to the Government itself through the channels of party pas- 
sions. Thus the policy and the will of one country, are subjected to 
the policy and will of another. 

There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks 
upon the Administration of the Government, and^ serve to keep 
alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably 
true and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may 
look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. 
But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, 
it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is 
certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary 
purpose, and there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought 
to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire 
not to be quenched; it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its 
bursting into a Same, lest, instead of warming, it should consume. 


It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free 
country should inspire caution in those intrusted with its administra- 
tion, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional 
spheres; avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to 
encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to con- 
solidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, 
whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate 
of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates 
in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this 
position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of 
political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depos- 
itories, and constituting each the Guardian of the Public Weal against 
invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and 
modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. 
To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the 
opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Consti- 
tutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an 
amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let 
there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, 
may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which 
free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly 
overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which 
the use can at any time yield. 

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political pros- 
perity, Religion, and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain 
would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to 
subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props 
of the duties of Men and Citizens, The mere Politician, equally 
with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume 
could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. 
Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for repu- 
tation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, 
which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? 
And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can 
be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the 
influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure reason 


and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can 
prevail in exclusion of religious principle. 

Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring 
of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less 
force to every species of Free Government. Who that is a sincere 
friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the 
foundation of the fabric ? 

Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for 
the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure 
of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that 
public opinion should be enlightened. 

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public 
credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as 
possible: avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but 
remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger 
frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it avoiding 
likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions 
of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of Peace to discharge 
the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungen- 
erously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves 
ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your Repre- 
sentatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. 
To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential 
that you should practically bear in mind, that towards the payment 
of debts there must be Revenue that to have Revenue there must 
be taxes that no taxes can be devised, which are not more or less 
inconvenient and unpleasant that the intrinsic embarrassment, in- 
separable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always 
a choice of difficulties) ought to be a decisive motive for a candid 
construction of the conduct of the Government in making it, and for 
a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining Revenue, which 
the public exigencies may at any time dictate. 

Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate 
peace and harmony with all. -Religion and Morality enjoin this con- 
duct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? 
It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a 


great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel 
example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevo- 
lence. Who can doubt that in the course of time and things, the 
fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, 
which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that 
Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation 
with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every 
sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered im- 
possible by its vices? 

In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that 
permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and pas- 
sionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in 
place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be 
cultivated. The Nation, which indulges towards another an habit- 
ual hatred or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a 
slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient 
to lead it astray -from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one 
nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and 
injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty 
and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute 
occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed and bloody 
contests. The Nation prompted by ill-will and resentment, some- 
times impels to War the Government, contrary to the best calcula- 
tions of policy. The Government sometimes participates in the 
national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would 
reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the Nation sub- 
servient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and 
other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes 
perhaps the Liberty, of Nations has been the victim. 

So likewise a passionate attachment of one Nation for another 
produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, 
facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases 
where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the 
enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the 
quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or 
justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite Nation of 
privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation 


making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought 
to have been retained; and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposi- 
tion to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are with- 
held; and it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who 
devote themselves to the favorite Nation) facility to betray or 
sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, some- 
times even with popularity: gilding, with the appearances of a 
virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public 
opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish 
compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation. 

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such at- 
tachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and in- 
dependent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to 
tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to 
mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils! 
Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and power- 
ful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. 

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, I conjure you 
to believe me, fellow-citizens, the jealousy of a free people ought 
to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that 
foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican 
Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must he impartial; 
else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, 
instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign 
nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they 
actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even 
second the arts of influence on the other. Real Patriots, who may 
resist the intrigues of the favourite, are liable to become suspected 
and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and con- 
fidence of the people, to surrender their interests. 

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations, is, 
in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little 
Political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed 
engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here 
let us stop. 

Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or 
a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent 


controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our 
concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate 
ourselves, by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, 
or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships, or 

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to 
pursue a different course. If we remain one People, under an 
efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy 
material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such 
an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve 
upon to be scrupulously respected. When belligerent nations, 
under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not 
lightly hazard the giving us provocation when we may choose 
peace or war, as our interest, guided by our justice, shall counsel. 

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why 
quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweav- 
ing our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace 
and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, 
humor, or caprice? 

Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any 
portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liber- 
ty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing 
infidelity to existing engagements. (I hold the maxim no less ap- 
plicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the 
best policy.) I repeat it therefore let those engagements be observed 
in their genuine sense. But in my opinion it is unnecessary and 
would be unwise to extend them. 

Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, 
on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary 
alliances for extraordinary emergencies. 

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended 
by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy 
should hold an equal and impartial hand: neither seeking nor 
granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural 
course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the 
streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with 
Powers so disposed in order to give trade a stable course, to de- 


fine the rights of our Merchants, and to enable the Government 
to support them conventional rules of intercourse, the best that 
present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit; but tempo- 
rary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as 
experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in 
view, that 'tis folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors 
from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence 
for whatever it may accept under that character that by such ac- 
ceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equiv- 
alents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with in- 
gratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than 
to expect or calculate upon real favors from Nation to Nation. 'T is 
an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought 
to discard. 

In offering to you, my Countrymen, these counsels of an old 
and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong 
and lasting impression, I could wish, that they will controul the 
usual current of the passions, or prevent our Nation from running 
the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of Nations. But if 
I may even flatter myself, that they may be productive of some 
partial benefit; some occasional good; that they may now and 
then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against 
the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impos- 
tures of pretended patriotism, this hope will be a full recom- 
pense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been 

How far in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided 
by the principles which have been delineated, the public Records and 
other evidences of my conduct must witness to You and to the 
world. To myself the assurance of my own conscience is, that I 
have at least believed myself to be guided by them. 

In relation to the still subsisting War in Europe, my Proclama- 
tion of the 22d of April 1793, is the index to my plan. Sanctioned 
by your approving voice and by that of your Representatives in 
both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually 
governed me: uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert 
me from it. 


After deliberate examination with the aid of the best lights I 
could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the 
circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in 
duty and interest to take, a Neutral position. Having taken it, I 
determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with 
moderation, perseverance, and firmness. 

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, 
it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, 
that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far 
from being denied by any of the Belligerent Powers, has been virtual- 
ly admitted by all. 

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without 
any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity 
impose on every Nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to main- 
tain inviolate the relations of Peace and Amity towards other Na- 

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best 
be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me, a 
predominant motive has been to endeavour to gain time to our 
country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to 
progress without interruption to that degree of strength and con- 
sistency, which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the com- 
mand of its own fortunes. 

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my Administration, I am 
unconscious of intentional error I am nevertheless too sensible of 
my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed 
many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Al- 
mighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I 
shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease 
to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my 
life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of 
incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must 
soon be to the mansions of rest. 

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated 
by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man, who 
views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several 
generations; I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in 


which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoy- 
ment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign 
influence of good Laws under a free Government, the ever favorite 
object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual 
cares, labors, and dangers. 



[By a treaty concluded in 1795, Spain had agreed to allow to the United States 
the u$e of New Orleans or an equivalent port on the Mississippi; but in 1802 she 
violated this agreement by closing the Mississippi, and ceding all Louisiana to 
France. The United States, realizing the danger of having such a power as France 
holding the natural outlet for a large proportion of the produce of the country, appro- 
priated $2,000,000 to purchase New Orleans. Livingston and Monroe concluded 
with Napoleon the purchase of the whole Louisiana territory for $15,000.000; their 
action was ratified; and the United States took possession on Dec. 20, 1805.] 


THE President of the United States of America, and the 
First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the 
French people, desiring to remove all source of misunder- 
standing relative to objects of discussion mentioned in the second 
and fifth articles of the convention of the 8th Vendemiaire, an 9 
(3Oth September, 1800) relative to the rights claimed by the United 
States, in virtue of the treaty concluded at Madrid, the 27th of 
October, 1795, between His Catholic Majesty and the said United 
States, and willing to strengthen the union and friendship which 
at the time of the said convention was happily re-established be- 
tween the two nations, have respectively named their Plenipo- 
tentiaries, to wit: the President of the United States, [of America,] 
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said States, 
Robert R. Livingston, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, 
and James Monroe, Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraor- 
dinary of the said States, near the Government of the French 
Republic; and the First Consul, in the name of the French people, 
Citizen Francis Barbe Marbois, Minister of the Public Treasury; 



who, after having respectively exchanged their full powers, have 
agreed to the following articles: 


Whereas by the article of the third of the treaty concluded at St. 
Idelfonso, the pth Vendemiaire, an 9 (ist October, 1800,) between 
the First Consul of the French Republic and His Catholic Majesty, 
it was agreed as follows: "His Catholic Majesty promises and en- 
gages on his part, to cede to the French Republic, six months after 
the full and entire execution of the conditions and stipulations herein 
relative to His Royal Highness the Duke of Parma, the colony or 
province of Louisiana, with the same extent that it now has in the 
hands of Spain, and that it had when France possessed it, and such 
as it should be after the treaties subsequently entered into between 
Spain and other States." And whereas, in pursuance of the treaty, 
and particularly of the third article, the French Republic has an in- 
contestable title to the domain and to the possession of the said 
territory: The First Consul of the French Republic desiring to 
give to the United States a strong proof of his friendship, doth 
hereby cede to the said United States, in the name of the French 
Republic, forever and in full sovereignty, the said territory, with 
all its rights and appurtenances, as fully and in the same manner 
as they have been acquired by the French Republic, in virtue of the 
above-mentioned treaty, concluded with His Catholic Majesty. 


In the cession made by the preceding article are included the ad- 
jacent islands belonging to Louisiana, all public lots and squares, 
vacant lands, and all public buildings, fortifications, barracks and 
other edifices which are not private property. The archives, papers, 
and documents, relative to the domain and sovereignty of Louisiana 
and its dependences, will be left in the possession of the commissaries 
of the United States, and copies will be afterwards given in due 
form to the magistrates and municipal officers of such of the said 
papers and documents as may be necessary to them. 



The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in 
the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, 
according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the en- 
joyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens 
of the United States; and in the meantime they shall be maintained 
and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and 
the religion which they profess. 


There shall be sent by the Government of France a commissary 
to Louisiana, to the end that he do every act necessary, as well to 
receive from the officers of His Catholic Majesty the said country and 
its dependences, in the name of the French Republic, if it has not 
been already done, as to transmit it in the name of the French 
Republic to the commissary or agent of the United States, 


Immediately after the ratification of the present treaty by the 
President of the United States, and in case that of the First Consul 
shall have been previously obtained, the commissary of the French 
Republic shall remit all military posts of New Orleans, and other 
parts of the ceded territory, to the commissary or commissaries 
named by the President to take possession; the troops, whether of 
France or Spain, who may be there shall cease to occupy any mil- 
itary post from the time of taking possession, and shall be embarked 
as soon as possible, in the course of three months after the ratifica- 
tion of this treaty. 


The United States promise to execute such treaties and articles as 
may have been agreed between Spain and the tribes and nations of 
Indians, until, by mutual consent of the United States and the said 
tribes or nations, other suitable articles shall have been agreed upon. 



As it is reciprocally advantageous to the commerce of France and 
the United States to encourage the communication of both nations 
for a limited time in the country ceded by the present treaty, until 
general arrangements relative to the commerce of both nations may 
be agreed on; it has been agreed between the contracting parties, 
that the French ships coming directly from France or any of her 
colonies, loaded only with the produce and manufactures of France 
or her said colonies; and the ships of Spain coming directly from 
Spain or any of her colonies, loaded only with the produce or manu- 
factures of Spain or her colonies, shall be admitted during the space 
of twelve years in the port of New Orleans, and in all other legal 
ports of entry within the ceded territory, in the same manner as the 
ships of the United States coming directly from France or Spain, 
or any of their colonies, without being subject to any other or 
greater duty on merchandize, or other or greater tonnage than that 
paid by the citizens of the United States. 

During the space of time above mentioned, no other nation shall 
have a right to the same privileges in the ports of the ceded territory; 
the twelve years shall commence three months after the exchange of 
ratifications, if it shall take place in France, or three months after it 
shall have been notified at Paris to the French Government, if it 
shall take place in the United States; it is however well understood 
that the object of the above article is to favor the manufactures, 
commerce, freight, and navigation of France and of Spain, so far 
as relates to the importations that the French and Spanish shall make 
into the said ports of the United States, without in any sort affecting 
the regulations that the United States may make concerning the 
exportation of the produce and merchandize of the United States, 
or any right they may have to make such regulations. 


In future and forever after the expiration of the twelve years, the 
ships of France shall be treated upon the footing of the most favoured 
nations in the ports above mentioned. 



The particular convention signed this day by the respective 
ministers, having for its object to provide for the payment of debts 
due to the citizens of the United States by the French Republic 
prior to the 3Oth Septr., 1800, (8th Vendemiaire, an 9,) is approved, 
and to have its execution in the same manner as if it had been 
inserted in this present treaty; and it shall be ratified in the same 
form and in the same time, so that the one shall not be ratified 
distinct from the other. 

Another particular convention signed at the same date as the 
present treaty relative to a definitive rule between the contracting 
parties is in the like manner approved, and will be ratified in the 
same form, and in the same time, and jointly. 


The present treaty shall be ratified in good and due form, and 
the ratifications shall be exchanged in the space of six months after 
the date of the signature by the Ministers Plenipotentiary, or sooner 
if possible. 

In faith whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed these 
articles in the French and English languages; declaring neverthe- 
less that the present treaty was originally agreed to in the French 
language; and have thereunto affixed their seals. 

Done at Paris the tenth day of Floreal, in the eleventh year of 
the French Republic, and the 30th of April, 1803. 

JAS. MONROE [L. s.] 




[This treaty brought to a close the "War of 1812."] 


HIS Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, 
desirous of terminating the war which has unhappily sub- 
sisted between the two countries, and of restoring, upon 
principles of perfect reciprocity, peace, friendship, and good under- 
standing between them, have, for that purpose, appointed their 
respective Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: 

His Britannic Majesty, on his part, has appointed the Right Hon- 
ourable James Lord Gambier, late Admiral of the White, now 
Admiral of the Red Squadron of His Majesty's fleet, Henry Goul- 
burn, Esquire, a member of the Imperial Parliament, and Under 
Secretary of State, and William Adams, Esquire, Doctor of Civil 
Laws; and the President of the United States, by and with the ad- 
vice and consent of the Senate thereof, has appointed John Quincy 
Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell, and Albert 
Gallatin, citizens of the United States; 

Who, after a reciprocal communication of their respective full 
powers, have agreed upon the following articles: 


There shall be a firm and universal peace between His Britannic 
Majesty and the United States, and between their respective coun- 



tries, territories, cities, towns, and people, of every degree, without 
exception of places or persons. All hostilities, both by sea and land, 
shall cease as soon as this treaty shall have been ratified by both 
parties, as hereinafter mentioned. All territory, places, and posses- 
sions whatsoever, taken by either party from the other during the 
war, or which may be taken after the signing of this treaty, except- 
ing only the islands hereinafter mentioned, shall be restored without 
delay, and without causing any destruction or carrying away any 
of the artillery or other public property originally captured in the 
said forts or places, and which shall remain therein upon the ex- 
change of the ratifications of this treaty, or any slaves or other 
private property. And all archives, records, deeds, and papers, 
either of a public nature or belonging to private persons, which, in 
the course of the war, may have fallen into the hands of the officers 
of either party, shall be, as far as may be practicable, forthwith 
restored and delivered to the proper authorities and persons to whom 
they respectively belong. Such of the islands in the Bay of Pas- 
samaquoddy as are claimed by both parties, shall remain in the 
possession of the party in whose occupation they may be at the 
time of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, until the 
decision respecting the title to the said islands shall have been made 
in conformity with the fourth article of this treaty. No disposition 
made by this treaty as to such possession of the islands and ter- 
ritories claimed by both parties shall, in any manner whatever, be 
construed to affect the right of either. 


Immediately after the ratifications of this treaty by both parties, 
as hereinafter mentioned, orders shall be sent to the armies, squad- 
rons, officers, subjects and citizens of the two Powers to cease from 
all hostilities. And to prevent all causes of complaint which might 
arise on account of the prizes which may be taken at sea after the 
said ratifications of this treaty, it is reciprocally agreed that all 
vessels and effects which may be taken after the space of twelve 
days from the said ratifications, upon all parts of the coast of North 
America, from the latitude of twenty-three degrees north to the 
latitude of fifty degrees north, and as far eastward in the Atlantic 


Ocean as the thirty-sixth degree of west longitude from the meridian 
of Greenwich, shall be restored on each side: that the time shall be 
thirty days in all other parts of the Atlantic Ocean north of the 
equinoctial line or equator, and the same time for the British and 
Irish Channels, for the Gulf of Mexico, and all parts of the West 
Indies; forty days for the North Seas, for the Baltic, and for all parts 
of the Mediterranean; sixty days for the Atlantic Ocean south of 
the equator, as far as the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope; ninety 
days for every other part of the world south of the equator; and 
one hundred and twenty days for all other parts of the world, with- 
out exception. 


All prisoners of war taken on either side, as well by land as by 
sea, shall be restored as soon as practicable after the ratifications of 
this treaty, as hereinafter mentioned, on their paying the debts which 
they may have contracted during their captivity. The two con- 
tracting parties respectively engage to discharge, in specie, the ad- 
vances which may have been made by the other for the sustenance 
and maintenance of such prisoners. 


Whereas it was stipulated by the second article in the treaty of 
peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, between His 
Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, that the bound- 
ary of the United States should comprehend all islands within 
twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States, and 
lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the 
aforesaid boundaries, between Nova Scotia on the one part, and 
East Florida on the other, shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy 
and the Atlantic Ocean, excepting such islands as now are, or here- 
tofore have been, within the limits of Nova Scotia; and whereas 
the several islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, which is part of 
the Bay of Fundy, and the Island of Grand Menan, in the said Bay 
of Fundy, are claimed by the United States as being comprehended 
within their aforesaid boundaries, which said islands are claimed 
as belonging to His Britannic Majesty, as having been, at the time 


of and previous to the aforesaid treaty of one thousand seven hundred 
and eighty-three, within the limits of the Province of Nova Scotia. 
In order, therefore, finally to decide upon these claims, it is agreed 
that they shall be referred to two Commissioners to be appointed in 
the following manner, viz: One Commissioner shall be appointed by 
His Britannic Majesty, and one by the President of the United 
States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof; 
and the said two Commissioners so appointed shall be sworn im- 
partially to examine and decide upon the said claims according to 
such evidence as shall be laid before them on the part of His Britan- 
nic Majesty and of the United States respectively. The said Com- 
missioners shall meet at St. Andrews, in the Province of New 
Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or 
places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall, by a 
declaration or report under their hands and seals, decide to which 
of the two contracting parties the several islands aforesaid do re- 
spectively belong', in conformity with the true intent of the said 
treaty of peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three. 
And if the said Commissioners shall agree in their decision, both 
parties shall consider such decision as final and conclusive. It is 
further agreed that, in the event of the two Commissioners differing 
upon all or any of the matters so referred to them, or in the event 
of both or either of the said Commissioners refusing, or declining, 
or wilfully omitting to act as such, they shall make, jointly or 
separately, a report or reports, as well to the Government of His 
Britannic Majesty as to that of the United States, stating in detail 
the points on which they differ, and the grounds upon which their 
respective opinions have been formed, or the grounds upon which 
they, or either of them, have so refused, declined, or omitted to act. 
And His Britannic Majesty and the Government of the United 
States hereby agree to refer the report or reports of the said Com- 
missioners to some friendly sovereign or State, to be then named for 
that purpose, and who shall be requested to decide on the differences 
which may be stated in the said report or reports, or upon the report 
of one Commissioner, together with the grounds upon which the 
other Commissioner shall have refused, declined, or omitted to act, 
as the case may be. And if the Commissioner so refusing, declining, 


or omitting to act, shall also wilfully omit to state the grounds upon 
which he has so done, in such manner that the said statement may 
be referred to such friendly sovereign or State, together with the 
report of such other Commissioner, then such sovereign or State 
shall decide ex parte upon the said report alone. And His Britannic 
Majesty and the Government of the United States engage to con- 
sider the decision of such friendly sovereign or State to be final and 
conclusive on all the matters so referred. 


Whereas neither that point of the highlands lying due north from 
the source of the river St. Croix, and designated in the former 
treaty of peace between the two Powers as the northwest angle of 
Nova Scotia, nor the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River, 
has yet been ascertained; and whereas that part of the boundary line 
between the dominions of the two Powers which extends from the 
source of the river St. Croix directly north to the above mentioned 
north west angle of Nova Scotia, thence along the said highlands 
which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. 
Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean to the 
northwesternmost head of Connecticut River, thence down along the 
middle of that river to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude; thence 
by a line due west on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois 
or Cataraquy, has not yet been surveyed : it is agreed that for these 
several purposes two Commissioners shall be appointed, sworn, and 
authorized to act exactly in the manner directed with respect to 
those mentioned in the next preceding article, unless otherwise 
specified in the present article. The said Commissioners shall meet 
at St. Andrews, in the Province of New Brunswick, and shall have 
power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think 
fit. The said Commissioners shall have power to ascertain and de- 
termine the points above mentioned, in conformity with the pro- 
visions of the said treaty of peace of one thousand seven hundred 
and eighty-three, and shall cause the boundary aforesaid, from the 
source of the river St. Croix to the river Iroquois or Cataraquy, to 
be surveyed and marked according to the said provisions. The 
said Commissioners shall make a map of the said boundary, and 


annex to it a declaration under their hands and seals, certifying it 
to be the true map of the said boundary, and particularizing the 
latitude and longitude of the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, of 
the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River, and of such other 
points of the said boundary as they may deem proper. And both 
parties agree to consider such map and declaration as finally and 
conclusively fixing the said boundary. And in the event of the said 
two Commissioners differing, or both or either of them refusing, 
declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or 
statements shall be made by them, or either of them, and such ref- 
erence to a friendly sovereign or State shall be made in all respects 
as in the latter part of the fourth article is contained, and in as full 
a manner as if the same was herein repeated. 


Whereas by the former treaty of peace that portion of the boundary 
of the United Stales from the point where the forty-fifth degree of 
north latitude strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraquy to the Lake 
Superior, was declared to be "along the middle of said river into 
Lake Ontario, through the middle of said lake, until it strikes the 
communication by water between that lake and Lake Erie, thence 
along the middle of said communication into Lake Erie, through 
the middle of said lake until it arrives at the water communication 
into Lake Huron, thence through the middle of said lake to the 
water communication between that lake and Lake Superior;" and 
whereas doubts have arisen what was the middle of the said river, 
lakes, and water communications, and whether certain islands lying 
in the same were within the dominions of His Britannic Majesty or 
of the United States: In order, therefore, finally to decide these 
doubts, they shall be referred to two Commissioners, to be appointed, 
sworn, and authorized to act exactly in the manner directed with 
respect to those mentioned in the next preceding article, unless 
otherwise specified in this present article. The said Commissioners 
shall meet, in the first instance, at Albany, in the State of New 
York, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places 
as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall, by a report 
or declaration, under their hands and seals, designate the boundary 


through the said river, lakes, and water communications, and de- 
cide to which of the two contracting parties the several islands lying 
within the said rivers, lakes, and water communications, do respect- 
ively belong, in conformity with the true intent of the said treaty of 
one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three. And both parties 
agree to consider such designation and decision as final and con- 
clusive. And in the event of the said two Commissioners differing, 
or both or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting 
to act, such reports, declarations, or statements shall be made by 
them, or either of them, and such reference to a friendly sovereign 
or State shall be made in all respects as in the latter part of the 
fourth article is contained and in as full a manner as if the same 
was herein repeated. 


It is further agreed that the said two last-mentioned Commis- 
sioners, after they shall have executed the duties assigned to them 
in the preceding article, shall be, and they are hereby, authorized 
upon their oaths impartially to fix and determine, according to the 
true intent of the said treaty of peace of one thousand seven hundred 
and eighty-three, that part of the boundary between the dominions of 
the two Powers which extends from the water communication 
between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, to the most northwestern 
point of the Lake of the Woods, to decide to which of the two 
parties the several islands lying in the lakes, water communications, 
and rivers, forming the said boundary, do respectively belong, in 
conformity with the true intent of the said treaty of peace of one 
thousand seven hundred and eighty-three; and to cause such parts 
of the said boundary as require it to be surveyed and marked. The 
said Commissioners shall, by a report or declaration under their 
hands and seals, designate the boundary aforesaid, state their deci- 
sion on the points thus referred to them, and particularize the latitude 
and longitude of the most northwestern point of the Lake of the 
Woods, and of such other parts of the said boundary as they may 
deem proper. And both parties agree to consider such designation 
and decision as final and conclusive. And in the event of the said 
two Commissioners differing, or both or either of them refusing, 


declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or 
statements shall be made by them, or either of them, and such ref- 
erence to a friendly sovereign or state shall be made in all respects as 
in the latter part of the fourth article is contained, and in as full a 
manner as if the same was herein repeated. 


The several boards of two Commissioners mentioned in the four 
preceding articles shall respectively have power to appoint a sec- 
retary, and to employ such surveyors or other persons as they shall 
judge necessary. Duplicates of all their respective reports, declara- 
tions, statements, and decisions, and of their accounts, and of the 
journal of their proceedings, shall be delivered by them to the agents 
of His Britannic Majesty and to the agents of the United States, 
who may be respectively appointed and authorized to manage the 
business on behalf of their respective Governments. The said Com- 
missioners shall be respectively paid in such manner as shall be 
agreed between the two contracting parties, such agreement being 
to be settled at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this 
treaty. And all other expenses attending the said commissions shall 
be defrayed equally by the two parties. And in the case of death, 
sickness, resignation, or necessary absence, the place of every such 
Commissioner, respectively, shall be supplied in the same manner 
as such Commissioner was first appointed, and the new Commis- 
sioner shall take the same oath or affirmation, and do the same duties. 
It is further agreed between the two contracting parties, that in case 
any of the islands mentioned in any of the preceding articles, which 
were in the possession of one of the parties prior to the commence- 
ment of the present war between the two countries, should, by the 
decision of any of the boards of commissioners aforesaid, or of the 
sovereign or State so referred to, as in the four next preceding 
articles contained, fall within the dominions of the other party, all 
grants of land made previous to 'the commencement of the war, by 
the party having had such possession, shall be as valid as if such 
island or islands had, by such decision or decisions, been adjudged 
to be within the dominions of the party having had such possession. 



The United States of America engage to put an end, immediately 
after the ratification of the present treaty, to hostilities with all the 
tribes or nations of Indians with whom they may be at war at the 
time of such ratification; and forthwith to restore to such tribes or 
nations, respectively, all the possessions, rights, and privileges which 
they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in one thousand eight 
hundred and eleven, previous to such hostilities. Provided always 
that such tribes or nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities 
against the United States of America, their citizens and subjects, 
upon the ratification of the present treaty being notified to such 
tribes or nations, and shall so desist accordingly. And his Britannic 
Majesty engages, on his part, to put an end immediately after the 
ratification of the present treaty, to hostilities with all the tribes or 
nations of Indians with whom he may be at war at the time of 
such ratification, and forthwith to restore to such tribes or nations 
respectively all the possessions, rights, and privileges which they 
may have enjoyed or been entitled to in one thousand eight hundred 
and eleven, previous to such hostilities. Provided always that such 
tribes or nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities against His 
Britannic Majesty, and his subjects, upon ratification of the present 
treaty being notified to such tribes or nations, and shall so desist 


Whereas the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the principles 
of humanity and justice, and whereas both His Majesty and the 
United States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote 
its entire abolition, it is hereby agreed that both the contracting 
parties shall use their best endeavours to accomplish so desirable an 


This treaty, when the same shall have been ratified on both sides, 
without alteration by either of the contracting parties, and the 
ratifications mutually exchanged, shall be binding on both parties, 


and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington, in the 

space of four months from this day, or sooner if practicable. 
In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed 

this treaty, and have thereunto affixed our seals. 
Done, in triplicate, at Ghent, the twenty-fourth day of December, 

one thousand eight hundred and fourteen. 

GAMBIER [L. s.] 



J. A. BAYARD [L. s.] 

H. CLAY [L. s.] 






[The following letters contain the standing agreement between Great Britain and 
the United States as to the naval force to be maintained by cither country in the 
Great Lakes.] 

Mr. Bagot to Mr. Rush. 

WASHINGTON, April 28th, 1817. 

THE undersigned, His Britannic Majesty's Envoy Extraor- 
dinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, has the honour to 
acquaint Mr. Rush, that having laid before His Majesty's 
Government the correspondence which passed last year between the 
Secretary of the Department of State and the undersigned upon 
the subject of a proposal to reduce the Naval Force of the respective 
countries upon the American Lakes, he has received commands of 
His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, to acquaint the Govern- 
ment of the United States, that His Royal Highness is willing to 
accede to the proposition made to the undersigned by the Secretary 
of the Department of State in his note of the 2d of August last. 

His Royal Highness acting in the name and on the behalf of His 
Majesty, agrees, that the Naval force to be maintained upon the 
American Lakes by His Majesty and the Government of the United 
States shall henceforth be confined to the following vessels on each 
side. That is: 

On Lake Ontario to one vessel not exceeding one hundred Tons 
burthen and armed with one eighteen pound cannon. 

On the upper lakes to two vessels not exceeding like burthen 
each and armed with like force. 


On the waters of Lake Champlain to one vessel not exceeding 
like burthen and armed with like force. 

And His Royal Highness agrees that all other armed vessels on 
these Lakes shall be forthwith dismantled, and that no other vessels 
of war shall be there built or armed. 

His Royal Highness further agrees that if either Party should 
hereafter be desirous of annulling this stipulation and should give 
notice to that effect to the other Party, it shall cease to be binding 
after the expiration of six months from the date of such notice. 

The undersigned has it in command from His Royal Highness, 
the Prince Regent, to acquaint the American Government, that His 
Royal Highness has issued orders to His Majesty's officers on the 
lakes directing that the Naval force so to be limited shall be re- 
stricted to such services as will in no respect interfere with the proper 
duties of the armed vessels of the other Party. 

The undersigned has the honour to renew to Mr. Rush the as- 
surances of his highest consideration. CHARLES BAGOT. 

Mr. Rush to Mr. Bagot. 

April 29th, 1817. 

The undersigned, acting Secretary of State, has the honor to 
acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Bagot's note of the 28th of this 
month informing him that, having laid before the Government of 
His Britannic Majesty, the correspondence which passed last year 
between the Secretary of State and himself upon the subject of a 
proposal to reduce the naval force of the two countries upon the 
American Lakes, he had received the commands of His Royal 
Highness, The Prince Regent, to inform this Government that His 
Royal Highness was willing to accede to the proposition made by 
the Secretary of State in his note of the second of August last. 

The undersigned has the honor t6 express to Mr. Bagot the satis- 
faction which the President feels at His Royal Highness, The Prince 
Regent's having acceded to the proposition of this Government as 
contained in the note alluded to. And in further answer to Mr. 
Bagot's note, the undersigned, by direction of the President, has 


the honor to state, that this Government, cherishing the same sen- 
timents expressed in the note of the second of August, agrees, that 
the naval force to be maintained upon the Lakes of the United 
States and Great Britain shall henceforth, be confined to the follow- 
ing vessels on each side that is: 

On Lake Ontario to one vessel not exceeding One Hundred Tons 
burden and armed with an eighteen pound cannon. On the Upper 
Lakes to two vessels not exceeding the like burden each, and armed 
with like force, and on the waters of Lake Champlain to one vessel 
not exceeding like burden and armed with like force. 

And it agrees that all other armed vessels on these Lakes, shall 
be forthwith dismantled, and that no other vessels of war shall be 
there built or armed. And it further agrees, that if either party 
should hereafter be desirous of annulling this stipulation and should 
give notice to that effect to the other party, it shall cease to be bind- 
ing after the expiration of six months from the date of such notice. 

The undersigned, is also directed by The President to state, that 
proper orders will be forthwith issued by this Government to restrict 
the naval force thus limited to such services as will in no respect 
interfere with the proper duties of the armed vessels of the other 

The undersigned, eagerly avails himself of this opportunity to 
tender to Mr. Bagot the assurances of his distinguished considera- 
tion and respect. 




[While in the hands of Spain, Florida was the source of much annoyance to the 
Southern States. Fugitive slaves took refuge there; the white population was largely 
of a lawless character; and the Scminole Indians often made incursions into Georgia. 
After the United States had been forced to invade the territory and take possession 
of part of it, Spain ceded it by the treaty of 1819.] 


F ^HE United States of America and His Catholic Majesty, 
I desiring to consolidate, on a permanent basis, the friend- 
ship and good correspondence which happily prevails be- 
tween the two parties have determined to settle and terminate all 
their differences and pretensions, by a treaty, which shall designate, 
with precision, the limits of their respective bordering territories in 
North America. 

With this intention, the President of the United States, has 
furnished with their full powers, John Quincy Adams, Secretary of 
State of the said United States; and His Catholic Majesty has ap- 
pointed the Most Excellent Lord Don Luis De Onis, Gonzales, 
Lopez y Vara, Lord of the town of Rayaces, Perpetual Regidor of 
the Corporation of the city of Salamanca, Knight Grand Cross of 
the Royal American Order of Isabella the Catholic, decorated with 
the Lys of La Vendee, Knight Pensioner of the Royal and Distin- 
guished Spanish Order of Charles the Third, Member of the Su- 
preme Assembly of the said Royal Order; of the Council of His 



Majesty; His Secretary, with Exercise of Decrees, and His Envoy 
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States 
of America; 

And the said Plenipotentiaries, after having exchanged their 
powers, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles: 


There shall be a firm and inviolable peace and sincere friendship 
between the United States and their citizens and His Catholic 
Majesty, his successors and subjects, without exception of persons 
or places. 


His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, in full property 
and sovereignty, all the territories which belong to him, situated 
to the eastward of the Mississippi, known by the name of East and 
West Florida. The adjacent islands dependent on said provinces, 
all public lots and squares, vacant lands, public edifices, fortifications, 
barracks, and other buildings, which are not private property, ar- 
chives and documents, which relate directly to the property and 
sovereignty of said provinces, are included in this article. The said 
archives and documents shall be left in possession of the commis- 
saries or officers of the United States, duly authorized to receive 


The boundary line between the two countries, west of the Missis- 
sippi, shall begin on the Gulph of Mexico, at the mouth of the river 
Sabine, in the sea, continuing north, along the western bank of 
that river, to the ytd degree of latitude; thence, by a line due north, 
to the degree of latitude where it strikes the Rio Roxo of Nachi- 
toches, or Red River; then following the course of the Rio Roxo 
westward, to the degree of longitude 100 west from London and 
23 from Washington; then, crossing the said Red River, and run- 
ning thence by a line due north, to the river Arkansas; thence, fol- 
lowing the course of the southern bank of the Arkansas, to its 
source, in latitude 42 north; and thence, by that parallel of latitude, 


to the South Sea. The whole being as laid down in Melish's map 
of the United States, published at Philadelphia, improved to the 
first of January, 1818. But if the source of the Arkansas River shall 
be found to fall north or south of latitude 42, then the line shall run 
from the said source due south or north, as the case may be, till it 
meets the said parallel of latitude 42, and thence, along the said 
parallel, to the South Sea: All the islands in the Sabine, and the 
said Red and Arkansas Rivers, throughout the course thus described, 
to belong to the United States; but the use of the waters, and the 
navigation of the Sabine to the sea, and of the said rivers Roxo and 
Arkansas, throughout the extent of the said boundary, on their re- 
spective banks, shall be common to the respective inhabitants of both 

The two high contracting parties agree to cede and renounce all 
their rights, claims, and pretensions, to the territories described by 
the said line, that is to say: The United States hereby to His Catholic 
Majesty, and renounce forever, all their rights, claims and preten- 
sions, to the territories lying west and south of the above-described 
line; and, in like manner, His Catholic Majesty cedes to the said 
United States all his rights, claims, and pretensions to any territories 
east and north of the said line, and for himself, his heirs, and suc- 
cessors, renounces all claim to the said territories forever. 


To fix this line with more precision, and to place the landmarks 
which shall designate exactly the limits of both nations, each of the 
contracting parties shall appoint a Commissioner and a surveyor, 
who shall meet before the termination of one year from the date 
of the ratification of this treaty at Nachitoches, on the Red River, 
and proceed to run and mark the said line, from the mouth of the 
Sabine to the Red River, and from the Red River to the river Arkan- 
sas, and to ascertain the latitude of the source of the said river 
Arkansas, in conformity to what is above agreed upon and stipulated, 
and the line of latitude 42, to the South Sea: they shall make out 
plans, and keep journals of their proceedings, and the result agreed 
upon by them shall be considered as part of this treaty, and shall 
have the same force as if it were inserted therein. The two Gov- 


ernments will amicably agree respecting the necessary articles to 
be furnished to those persons, and also as to their respective escorts, 
should such be deemed necessary. 


The inhabitants of the ceded territories shall be secured in the free 
exercise of their religion, without any restriction; and all those who 
may desire to remove to the Spanish dominions shall be permitted 
to sell or export their effects, at any time whatever, without being 
subject, in either case, to duties. 


The inhabitants of the territories which His Catholic Majesty 
cedes to the United States, by this treaty, shall be incorporated in 
the Union of the United States, as soon as may be consistent with the 
principles of the Federal Constitution, and admitted to the enjoy- 
ment of all the privileges, rights, and immunities of the citizens of 
the United States. 


The officers and troops of His Catholic Majesty, in the territories 
hereby ceded by him to the United States, shall be withdrawn, and 
possession of the places occupied by them shall be given within six 
months after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or sooner 
if possible, by the officers of His Catholic Majesty to the commis- 
sioners or officers of the United States duly appointed to receive 
them; and the United States shall furnish the transports and escorts 
necessary to convey the Spanish officers and troops and their bag- 
gage to the Havana. 


All the grants of land made before the 24th of January, 1818, by 
His Catholic Majesty, or by his lawful authorities, in the said terri- 
tories ceded by His Majesty to the United States, shall be ratified 
and confirmed to the persons in possession of the lands, to the same 
extent that the same grants would be valid if the territories had re- 
mained under the dominion of His Catholic Majesty. But the own- 


ers in possession of such lands, who, by reason of the recent circum- 
stances of the Spanish nation, and the revolutions in Europe, have 
been prevented from fulfilling all the conditions of their grants, 
shall complete them within the terms limited in the same, respec- 
tively, from the date of this treaty; in default of which the said 
grants shall be null and void. All grants made since the said 24th 
of January, 1818, when the first proposal, on the part of His Catholic 
Majesty, for the cession of the Floridas was made, are hereby declared 
and agreed to be null and void. 


The two high contracting parties, animated with the most earnest 
desire of conciliation, and with the object of putting an end to all 
the differences which have existed between them, and of confirming 
the good understanding which they wish to be forever maintained 
between them, reciprocally renounce all claims for damages or in- 
juries which they, themselves, as well as their respective citizens 
and subjects, may have suffered until the time of signing this treaty. 

The renunciation of the United States will extend to all the in- 
juries mentioned in the convention of the nth of August, 1802. 

(2) To all claims on account of prizes made by French privateers, 
and condemned by French Consuls, within the territory and juris- 
diction of Spain. 

(3) To all claims of indemnities on account of the suspension 
of the right of deposit at New Orleans in 1802. 

(4) To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the Gov- 
ernment of Spain, arising from the unlawful seizures at sea, and in 
the ports and territories of Spain, or the Spanish colonies. 

(5) To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the 
Spanish Government, statements of which, soliciting the interposi- 
tion of the Government of the United States, have been presented 
to the Department of State, or to the Minister of the United States 
in Spain, since the date of the convention of 1802, and until the sig- 
nature of this treaty. 

The renunciation of His Catholic Majesty extends 
(i) To all the injuries mentioned in the convention of the nth of 
August, 1802. 


(2) To the sums which His Catholic Majesty advanced for the 
return of Captain Pike from the Provincias Internas. 

(3) To all injuries caused by the expedition of Miranda, that 
was fitted out and equipped at New York. 

(4) To all claims of Spanish subjects upon the Government of 
the United States arizing from unlawful seizures at sea, or within 
the ports and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. 

Finally, to all the claims of subjects of His Catholic Majesty upon 
the Government of the United States in which the interposition of 
his Catholic Majesty's Government has been solicited, before the 
date of this treaty and since the date of the convention of 1802, or 
which may have been made to the department of foreign affairs of 
His Majesty, or to His Minister in the United States. 

And the high contracting parties, respectively, renounce all claim 
to indemnities for any of the recent events or transactions of their 
respective commanders and officers in the Floridas. 

The United States will cause satisfaction to be made for the in- 
juries, if any, which, by process of law, shall be established to have 
been suffered by the Spanish officers, and individual Spanish in- 
habitants, by the late operations of the American Army in Florida. 


The convention entered into between the two Governments, on 
the nth of August, 1802, the ratifications of which were exchanged 
the 2ist December, 1818, is annulled. 


The United States, exonerating Spain from all demands in future, 
on account of the claims of their citizens to which the renunciations 
herein contained extend, and considering them entirely cancelled, 
undertake to make satisfaction for the same, to an amount not ex- 
ceeding five millions of dollars. To ascertain the full amount and 
validity of those claims, a commission, to consist of three Commis- 
sioners, citizens of the United States, shall be appointed by the 
President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, which 
commission shall meet at the city of Washington, and, within the 
space of three years from the time of their first meeting, shall re- 


ceive, examine, and decide upon the amount and validity of all the 
claims included within the descriptions above mentioned. The said 
Commissioners shall take an oath or affirmation, to be entered on 
the record of their proceedings, for the faithful and diligent dis- 
charge of their duties; and, in case of the death, sickness, or necessary 
absence of any such Commissioner, his place may be supplied by 
the appointment, as aforesaid, or by the President of the United 
States, during the recess of the Senate, of another Commissioner in 
his stead. The said Commissioners shall be authorized to hear and 
examine, on oath, every question relative to the said claims, and to 
receive all suitable authentic testimony concerning the same. And 
the Spanish Government shall furnish all such documents and 
elucidations as may be in their possession, for the adjustment of the 
said claims, according to the principles of justice, the laws of nations, 
and the stipulations of the treaty between the two parties of 2yth 
October, 1795; the said documents to be specified, when demanded, 
at the instance of the said Commissioners. 

The payment of such claims as may be admitted and adjusted by 
the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, to an amount 
not exceeding five millions of dollars, shall be made by the United 
States, either immediately at their Treasury, or by the creation of 
stock, bearing an interest of six per cent, per annum, payable from 
the proceeds of sales of public lands within the territories hereby 
ceded to the United States, or in such other manner as the Congress 
of the United States may prescribe by law. 

The records of the proceedings of the said Commissioners, together 
with the vouchers and documents produced before them, relative 
to the claims to be adjusted and decided upon by them, shall, after 
the close of their transactions, be deposited in the Department of 
State of the United States; and copies of them, or any part of them, 
shall be furnished to the Spanish Government, if required, at the 

demand of the Spanish Minister in the United States. 



The treaty of limits and navigation, of 1795, remains confirmed 
in all and each one of its articles excepting the 2, 3, 4, 21, and the 
second clause of the 22d article, which having been altered by this 


treaty, or having received their entire execution, are no longer valid. 
With respect to the 15th article of the same treaty of friendship, 
limits, and navigation of 1795, in which it is stipulated that the flag 
shall cover the property, the two high contracting parties agree that 
this shall be so understood with respect to those Powers who rec- 
ognize this principle; but if either of the two contracting parties 
shall be at war with a third party, and the other neutral, the flag 
of the neutral shall cover the property of enemies whose Government 
acknowledge this principle, and not of others. 


Both contracting parties, wishing to favour their mutual com- 
merce, by affording in their ports every necessary assistance to their 
respective merchant-vessels, have agreed that the sailors who shall 
desert from their vessels in the ports of the other, shall be arrested 
and delivered up, at the instance of the Consul, who shall prove, 
nevertheless, that the deserters belonged to the vessels that claimed 
them, exhibiting the document that is customary in their nation: 
that is to say, the American Consul in a Spanish port shall exhibit 
the document known by the name of articles, and the Spanish 
Consul in American ports the roll of the vessel; and if the name 
of the deserter or deserters who are claimed shall appear in the one 
or the other, they shall be arrested, held in custody, and delivered 
to the vessel to which they shall belong. 


The United States hereby certify that they have not received any 
compensation from France for the injuries they suffered from her 
privateers, Consuls, and tribunals on the coasts and in the ports 
of Spain, for the satisfaction of which provision is made by this 
treaty; and they will present an authentic statement of the prizes 
made, and of their true value, that Spain may avail herself of the 
same in such manner as she may deem just and proper. 


The United States, to give to His Catholic Majesty, a proof of 
their desire to cement the relations of amity subsisting between the 


two nations, and to favour the commerce of the subjects of His 
Catholic Majesty, agree that Spanish vessels, coming laden only with 
productions of Spanish growth or manufactures, directly from the 
ports of Spain, or of her colonies, shall be admitted, for the term of 
twelve years, to the ports of Pensacola and St. Augustine, in the 
Floridas, without paying other or higher duties on their cargoes, or 
of tonnage, than will be paid by the vessels of the United States. 
During the said term no other nation shall enjoy the same privileges 
within the ceded territories. The twelve years shall commence three 
months after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty. 


The present treaty shall be ratified in due form, by the contracting 
parties, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in six months from 
this time, or sooner if possible. 

In witness whereof we, the underwritten Plenipotentiaries of the 
United States o America and of His Catholic Majesty, have signed, 
by virtue of our powers, the present treaty of amity, settlement, and 
limits, and have thereunto affixed our seals, respectively. 

Done at Washington this twenty-second day of February, one 
thousand eight hundred and nineteen. 

Luis DE ONIS [ L - s -] 



[The reaction in favor of monarchical government which followed the fall of 
Napoleon had among its consequences the proposal of Spain to regain her South 
American colonies, which had won their independence. Russia also began to extend 
her claims on the Pacific coast. It was with reference to such tendencies that Presi- 
dent Monroe included in his message of 1823, this statement of the policy of the 
United States toward foreign powers attempting "to extend their system to this por- 
tion of the hemisphere.'* This doctrine was not ratified by Congress, and its validity 
depends, not on international law, but merely on the power of the United States 
to enforce it.] 

A THE proposal of the Russian imperial government made 
through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a full 
power and instructions have been transmitted to the Min- 
ister of the United States at St. Petersburgh, to arrange, by amicable 
negotiation, the respective rights and interests of the two nations on 
the northwest coast of this continent. A similar proposal has been 
made by his Imperial Majesty to the government of Great Britain, 
which has likewise been acceded to. The government of the United 
States has been desirous, by this friendly proceeding, of manifesting 
the great value which they have invariably attached to the friendship 
of the emperor, and their solicitude to cultivate the best understand- 
ing with his government. In the discussions to which this interest 
has given rise, and in the arrangements by which they may terminate, 
the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in 
which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that 
the American continents, by the free and independent condition 
which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be 
considered as subjects for future colonization by any European 


It was stated at the commencement of the last session, that a great 
effort was then making in Spain and Portugal, to improve the condi- 
tion of the people of. those countries, and that it appeared to be con- 



ducted with extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely be remarked, 
that the result has been, so far, very different from what was then 
anticipated. Of events in that quarter of the globe, with which we 
have so much intercourse, and from which we derive our origin, we 
have always been anxious and interested spectators. The citizens of 
the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly, in favor of 
the liberty and happiness of their fellow men on that side of the 
Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers, in matters relating 
to themselves, we have never taken any part, nor does it comport 
with our policy, so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded, or 
seriously menaced, that we resent injuries, or make preparation for 
our defence. With the movements in this hemisphere, we are, of 
necessity, more immediately connected, and by causes which must 
be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political 
system of the allied powers is essentially different, in this respect, 
from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which 
exists in their Respective governments. And to the defence of our 
own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and 
treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened 
citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this 
whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to 
the amicable relations existing between the United States and those 
powers, to declare, that we should consider any attempt on their part 
to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere, as dangerous 
to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies 
of any European power, we have not interfered, and shall not 
interfere. But with the governments who have declared their inde- 
pendence, and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on 
great consideration, and on just principles, acknowledged, we could 
not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or 
controlling, in any other manner, their destiny, by any European 
power, in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly 
disposition towards the United States. In the war between those new 
governments and Spain, we declared our neutrality at the time of 
their recognition, and to this we have adhered, and shall continue 
to adhere, provided no change shall occur, which, in the judgment 
of the competent authorities of this government, shall make a corre- 


spending change, on the part of the United States, indispensable to 
their security. 

The late events in Spain and Portugal, shew that Europe is still 
unsettled. Of this important fact, no stronger proof can be adduced 
than that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on any 
principle satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed, by force, in 
the internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition 
may be carried, on the same principle, is a question, to which all 
independent powers, whose governments differ from theirs, are inter- 
ested; even those most remote, and surely none more so than the 
United States. Our policy, in regard to Europe, which was adopted 
at an early stage of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter 
of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere 
in the internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the govern- 
ment de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate 
friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, 
firm, and manly policy; meeting, in all instances, the just claims of 
every power; submitting to injuries from none. But, in regard to 
these continents, circumstances are eminently and conspicuously 
different. It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their 
political system to any portion of either continent, without endanger- 
ing our peace and happiness: nor can any one believe that our 
Southern Brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own 
accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold 
such interposition, in any form, with indifference. If we look to 
the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new 
governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious 
that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the 
United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that 
other powers will pursue the same course. 



[The purpose of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty was to settle various outstanding 
questions between Great Britain and the United States, mainly concerned with 
boundary-lines. With the exception of the Oregon line, most of the frontier between 
Canada and the United States was defined by this agreement. The boundary west 
of the Rocky Mountains was decided in 1846.] 

NOVEMBER 10, 1842. 

IT "IT 7HEREAS certain portions of the line of boundary between 
%/%/ the United States of America and the British dominions in 
T T North America, described in the second article of the treaty 
of peace of 1783, have not yet been ascertained and determined, not- 
withstanding the repeated attempts which have been heretofore made 
for that purpose; and whereas it is now thought to be for the inter- 
est of both parties, that, avoiding further discussion of their respective 
rights, arising in this respect under the said treaty, they should agree 
on a conventional line in said portions of the said boundary, such as 
may be convenient to both parties, with such equivalents and com- 
pensations as are deemed just and reasonable; and whereas, by the 
treaty concluded at Ghent on the 24th day of December, 1814, be- 
tween the United States and His Britannic Majesty, an article was 
agreed to and inserted of the following tenor, viz.: "Art. 10. Whereas 
the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of humanity 
and justice; and whereas both His Majesty and the United States are 



desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire abolition, 
it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use their 
best endeavors to accomplish so desirable an object;" and whereas, 
notwithstanding the laws which have at various times been passed 
by the two Governments, and the efforts made to suppress it, that 
criminal traffic is still prosecuted and carried on; and whereas the 
United States of America and Her Majesty the Queen of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland are determined that, so far 
as may be in their power, it shall be effectually abolished; and 
whereas it is found expedient, for the better administration of justice 
and the prevention of crime within the territories and jurisdiction of 
the two parties respectively, that persons committing the crimes here- 
inafter enumerated, and being fugitives from justice, should, under 
certain circumstances, be reciprocally delivered up: The United States 
of America and Her Britannic Majesty, having resolved to treat on 
these several subjects, have for that purpose appointed their respective 
Plenipotentiaries to negotiate and conclude a treaty, that is to say : 

The President of the United States has, on his part, furnished with 
full powers Daniel Webster, Secretary of State of the United States, 
and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain 
and Ireland has, on her part, appointed the Right Honorable Alex- 
ander Lord Ashburton, a peer of the said United Kingdom, a mem- 
ber of Her Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council, and Her 
Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary on a special mission to the United 

Who, after a reciprocal communication of their respective full 
powers, have agreed to and signed the following articles: 


It is hereby agreed and declared that the line of boundary shall be 
as follows: Beginning at the monument at the source of the river 
St. Croix as designated and agreed to by the Commissioners under 
the fifth article of the treaty of 1794, between the Governments of 
the United States and Great Britain; thence, north, following the 
exploring line run and marked by the surveyors of the two Govern- 
ments in the years 1817 and 1818, under the fifth article of the 
treaty of Ghent, to its intersection with the river St. John, and to 


the middle of the channel thereof; thence, up the middle of the main 
channel of the said river St. John, to the mouth of the river St. 
Francis; thence, up the middle of the channel of the said river St. 
Francis, and of the lakes through which it flows, to the outlet of the 
Lake Pohenagamook; thence, southwesterly, in a straight line, to a 
point on the northwest branch of the river St. John, which point shall 
be ten miles distant from the main branch of the St. John, in a 
straight line, and in the nearest direction; but if the said point shall 
be found to be less than seven miles from the nearest point of the 
summit or crest of the highlands that divide those rivers which empty 
themselves into the river Saint Lawrence from those which fall into 
the river Saint John, then the said point shall be made to recede down 
the said northwest branch of the river St. John, to a point seven 
miles in a straight line from the said summit or crest; thence, in a 
straight line, in a course about south, eight degrees west, to the point 
where the parallel of latitude of 46 25' north intersects the south- 
west branch of .the St. John's; thence, southerly, by the said branch, 
to the source thereof in the highlands at the Metjarmette portage; 
thence, down along the said highlands which divide the waters 
which empty themselves into the river Saint Lawrence from those 
which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the head of Hall's Stream; 
thence, down the middle of said stream, till the line thus run inter- 
sects the old line of boundary surveyed and marked by Valentine 
and Collins, previously to the year 1774, as the 45th degree of north 
latitude, and which has been known and understood to be the line 
of actual division between the States of New York and Vermont 
on one side, and the British province of Canada on the other; and 
from said point of intersection, west, along the said dividing line, as 
heretofore known and understood, to the Iroquois or St. Lawrence 


It is moreover agreed, that from the place where the joint Com* 
missioners terminated their labors under the sixth article of the 
treaty of Ghent, to wit, at a point in the Neebish Channel, near 
Muddy Lake, the line shall run into and along the ship-channel 
between Saint Joseph and St. Tammany Islands, to the division of 


the channel at or near the head of St. Joseph's Island; thence, turning 
eastwardly and northwardly around the lower end of St. George's 
or Sugar Island, and following the middle of the channel which 
divides St. George's from St. Joseph's Island; thence up the east 
Neebish Channel, nearest to St. George's Island, through the middle 
of Lake George; thence, west of Jonas' Island, into St. Mary's River, 
to a point in the middle of that river, about one mile above St. 
George's or Sugar Island, so as to appropriate and assign the said 
island to the United States; thence, adopting the line traced on the 
maps by the Commissioners, thro' the river St. Mary and Lake 
Superior, to a point north of He Royale, in said lake, one hundred 
yards to the north and east of lie Chapeau, which last-mentioned 
island lies near the northeastern point of He Royale, where the line 
marked by the Commissioners terminates; and from the last- 
mentioned point, southwesterly, through the middle of the sound 
between He Royale and the northwestern main land, to the mouth 
of Pigeon River, and up the said river, to and through the north 
and south Fowl Lakes, to the lakes of the height of land between 
Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods; thence, along the water 
communication to Lake Saisaginaga, and through that lake; thence, 
to and through Cypress Lake, Lac du Bois Blanc, Lac la Croix, Little 
Vermilion Lake, and Lake Namecan and through the several smaller 
lakes, straits, or streams, connecting the lakes here mentioned, to that 
point in Lac la Pluie, or Rainy Lake, at the Chaudiere Falls, from 
which the Commissioners traced the line to the most northwestern 
point of the Lake of the Woods; thence, along the said line, to the 
said most northwestern point, being in latitude 49 23' 55" north and 
in longitude 95 14' 38" west from the observatory at Greenwich; 
thence, according to existing treaties, due south to its intersection 
with the 49th parallel of north latitude, and along that parallel to 
the Rocky Mountains. It being understood that all the water com- 
munications and all the usual portages along the line from Lake 
Superior to the Lake of the Woods, and also Grand Portage, from 
the shore of Lake Superior to the Pigeon River, as now actually used, 
shall be free and open to the use of the citizens and subjects of both 



In order to promote the interests and encourage the industry of 
all the inhabitants of the countries watered by the river St. John and 
its tributaries, whether living within the State of Maine or the prov- 
ince of New Brunswick, it is agreed that, where, by the provisions 
of the present treaty, the river St. John is declared to be the line of 
boundary, the navigation of the said river shall be free and open to 
both parties, and shall in no way be obstructed by cither; that all the 
produce of the forest, in logs, lumber, timber, boards, staves, or 
shingles, or of agriculture, not being manufactured, grown on any 
of those parts of the State of Maine watered by the river St. John, or 
by its tributaries, of which fact reasonable evidence shall, if required, 
be produced, shall have free access into and through the said river 
and its said tributaries, having their source within the State of Maine, 
to and from the sea-port at the mouth of the said river St. John's, 
and to and round the falls of the said river, either by boats, rafts, or 
other conveyance; that when within the province of New Brunswick, 
the said produce shall be dealt with as if it were the produce of the 
said province; that, in like manner, the inhabitants of the territory 
of the upper St. John, determined by this treaty to belong to Her 
Britannic Majesty, shall have free access to and through the river, 
for their produce, in those parts where the said river runs wholly 
through the State of Maine; Provided, always, that this agreement 
shall give no right to either party to interfere with any regulations 
not inconsistent with the terms of this treaty which the governments, 
respectively, of Maine or of New Brunswick may make respecting 
the navigation of the said river, where both banks thereof shall 
belong to the same party. 


All grants of land heretofore made by either party, within the 
limits of the territory which by this'treaty falls within the dominions 
of the other party, shall be held valid, ratified, and confirmed to the 
persons in possession under such grants, to the same extent as if 
such territory had by this treaty fallen within the dominions of the 


party by whom such grants were made; and all equitable possessory 
claims, arising from a possession and improvement of any lot or 
parcel of land by the person actually in possession, or by those under 
whom such person claims, for more than six years before the date 
of this treaty, shall, in like manner, be deemed valid, and be con- 
firmed and quieted by a release to the persons entitled thereto, of 
the title to such lot or parcel of land, so described as best to include 
the improvements made thereon; and in all other respects the two 
contracting parties agree to deal upon the most liberal principles of 
equity with the settlers actually dwelling upon the territory falling 
to them, respectively, which has heretofore been in dispute between 


Whereas in the course of the controversy respecting the disputed 
territory on the northeastern boundary, some moneys have been 
received by the authorities of Her Britannic Majesty's province of 
New Brunswick, with the intention of preventing depredations, on 
the forests of the said territory, which moneys were to be carried to 
a fund called the "disputed territory fund," the proceeds whereof 
it was agreed should be hereafter paid over to the parties interested, 
in the proportions to be determined by a final settlement of bound- 
aries, it is hereby agreed that a correct account of all receipts and 
payments on the said fund shall be delivered to the Government of 
the United States within six months after the ratification of this 
treaty; and the proportion of the amount due thereon to the States of 
Maine and Massachusetts, and any bonds or securities appertaining 
thereto shall be paid and delivered over to the Government of the 
United States; and the Government of the United States agrees to 
receive for the use of, and pay over to, the States of Maine and 
Massachusetts, their respective portions of said fund, and further, to 
pay and satisfy said States, respectively, for all claims for expenses 
incurred by them in protecting the said heretofore disputed territory 
and making a survey thereof in 1838; the Government of the United 
States agreeing with the States of Maine and Massachusetts to pay 
them the further sum of three hundred thousand dollars, in equal 


moieties, on account of their assent to the line of boundary described 
in this treaty, and in consideration of the conditions and equivalents 
received therefor from the Government of Her Britannic Majesty. 


It is furthermore understood and agreed that, for the purpose of 
running and tracing those parts of the line between the source of the 
St. Croix and the St. Lawrence River which will require to be run 
and ascertained, and for marking the residue of said line by proper 
monuments on the land, two Commissioners shall be appointed, one 
by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate thereof, and one by Her Britannic Majesty; 
and the said Commissioners shall meet at Bangor, in the State of 
Maine, on the first day of May next, or as soon thereafter as may be, 
and shall proceed to mark the line above described, from the source 
of St. Croix to the river St. John; and shall trace on proper maps the 
dividing-line along said river and along the river St. Francis to the 
outlet of the Lake Pohenagamook; and from the outlet of the said 
lake they shall ascertain, fix, and mark, by proper and durable monu- 
ments on the land, the line described in the first article of this treaty; 
and the said Commissioners shall make to each of their respective 
Governments a joint report or declaration, under their hands and 
seals, designating such line of boundary, and shall accompany such 
report or declaration with maps, certified by them to be true maps 
of the new boundary. 


It is further agreed that the channels in the river St. Lawrence on 
both sides of the Long Sault Islands and of Barnhart Island, the 
channels in the river Detroit on both sides of the island Bois Blanc, 
and between that Island and both the American and Canadian 
shores, and all the several channels and passages between the various 
islands lying near the junction of (he river St. Clair with the lake 
of that name, shall be equally free and open to the ships, vessels, and 
boats of both parties. 



The parties mutually stipulate that each shall prepare, equip, and 
maintain in service on the coast of Africa a sufficient and adequate 
squadron or naval force of vessels of suitable numbers and descrip- 
tions, to carry in all not less than eighty guns, to enforce, separately 
and respectively, the laws, rights and obligations of each of the two 
countries for the suppression of the slave-trade, the said squadrons to 
be independent of each other, but the two Governments stipulating, 
nevertheless, to give such orders to the officers commanding their 
respective forces as shall enable them most effectually to act in 
concert and co-operation, upon mutual consultation, as exigencies 
may arise, for the attainment of the true object of this article, copies 
of all such orders to be communicated by each Government to the 
other, respectively. 


Whereas, notwithstanding all efforts which may be made on the 
coast of Africa for suppressing the slave-trade, the facilities for carry- 
ing on that traffic and avoiding the vigilance of cruisers, by the 
fraudulent use of flags and other means, are so great, and the tempta- 
tions for pursuing it, while a market can be found for slaves, so 
strong, as that the desired result may be long delayed unless all 
markets be shut against the purchase of African negroes, the parties 
to this treaty agree that they will unite in all becoming representa- 
tions and remonstrances with any and all Powers within whose 
dominions such markets are allowed to exist, and that they will urge 
upon all such Powers the propriety and duty of closing such markets 
effectually, at once and forever. 


It is agreed that the United States and Her Britannij 
upon mutual requisitions by them, or their Mi: 
authorities, respectively made, deliver up to justy$^|l Arsons whcj, 
being charged with the crime of murder, or asflmx/with in^ittb '" 
commit murder, or piracy, or arson, or robberw,^jr/forttfy, or^the V 
utteranceof forged paper, committed within the uirif ^li&iaii of either, ) 



shall seek an asylum or shall be found within the territories of the 
other: Provided, that this shall only be done upon such evidence of 
criminality as, according to the laws of the place where the fugitive 
or person so charged shall be found, would justify his apprehension 
and commitment for trial if the crime or offence had there been 
committed; and the respective judges and other magistrates of the 
two Governments shall have power, jurisdiction, and authority, upon 
complaint made under oath, to issue a warrant for the apprehension 
of the fugitive or person so charged, that he may be brought before 
such judges or other magistrates, respectively, to the end that the 
evidence of criminality may be heard and considered; and if, on such 
hearing, the evidence be deemed sufficient to sustain the charge, it 
shall be the duty of the examining judge or magistrate to certify the 
same to the proper executive authority, that a warrant may issue for 
the surrender of such fugitive. The expense of such apprehension 
and delivery shall be borne and defrayed by the party who makes the 
requisition and receives the fugitive. 


The eighth article of this treaty shall be in force for five years 
from the date of the exchange of the ratification, and afterwards 
until one or the other party shall signify a wish to terminate it. The 
tenth article shall continue in force until one or the other of the 
parties shall signify its wish to terminate it, and no longer. 


The present treaty shall be duly ratified, and the mutual exchange 
of ratification shall take place in London, within six months from 
the date hereof, or earlier if possible. 

In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed 
this treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals. 

Done, in duplicate, at Washington, the ninth day of August, anno 
Domini one thousand eight hundred and forty-two. 




[By the Louisiana Purchase, Texas had become a part of the United States; but in 
1819 it had been ceded to Spain in the negotiations for Florida. Two years later 
Mexico, including Texas, had become independent, and the United States made two 
unsuccessful attempts to purchase Texas from Mexico. The settlement of Texas by 
immigrants from the United States finally led to the secession of Texas and its 
annexation by the United States, with the result that the Mexican War broke out in 
May, 1846. It was closed by this treaty, by which the United States gained not only 
Texas but New Mexico and Upper California.] 



IN THE name of Almighty God : 
The United States of America and the United Mexican States 
animated by a sincere desire to put an end to the calamities of 
the war which unhappily exists between the two Republics, and to 
establish upon a solid basis relations of peace and friendship, which 
shall confer reciprocal benefits upon the citizens of both, and assure 
the concord, harmony, and mutual confidence wherein the two 
people should live, as good neighbours, have for that purpose 
appointed their respective plenipotentiaries, that is to say: 

The President of the United States has appointed Nicholas P. 
Trist, a citizen of the United States, and the President of the Mexi- 
can Republic has appointed Don Luis Gonzaga Cuevas, Don Ber- 
nardo Couto, and Don Miguel Atristain, citizens of the said 

Who, after a reciprocal communication of their respective full 
powers, have, under the protection of Almighty God, the author of 
peace, arranged, agreed upon, and signed the following: 



Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement between the 
United States of America and the Mexican Republic. 


There shall be firm and universal peace between the United States 
of America and the Mexican Republic, and between their respective 
countries, territories, cities, towns, and people, without exception of 
places or persons. 


Immediately upon the signature of this treaty, a convention shall 
be entered into between a commissioner or commissioners appointed 
by the General-in-chief of the forces of the United States, and such as 
may be appointed by the Mexican Government, to the end that a 
provisional suspension of hostilities shall take place, and that, in the 
places occupied by the said forces, constitutional order may be re- 
established, as regards the political, administrative, and judicial 
branches, so far as this shall be permitted by the circumstances of 
military occupation. 


Immediately upon the ratification of the present treaty by the 
Government of the United States, orders shall be transmitted to the 
commanders of their land and naval forces, requiring the latter (pro- 
vided this treaty shall then have been ratified by the Government of 
the Mexican Republic, and the ratifications exchanged) immediately 
to desist from blockading any Mexican ports and requiring the 
former (under the same condition) to commence, at the earliest 
moment practicable, withdrawing all troops of the United States 
then in the interior of the Mexican Republic, to points that shall be 
selected by common agreement, at a distance from the seaports not 
exceeding thirty leagues; and such evacuation of the interior of the 
Republic shall be completed with the least possible delay; the Mexi- 
can Government hereby binding itself to afford every facility in its 
power for rendering the same convenient to the troops, on their 
march and in their new positions, and for promoting a good under- 
standing between them and the inhabitants. In like manner orders 
shall be despatched to the persons in charge of the custom-houses at 


all ports occupied by the forces of the United States, requiring them 
(under the same condition) immediately to deliver possession of 
the same to the persons authorized by the Mexican Government to 
receive it, together with all bonds and evidences of debt for duties 
on importations and on exportations, not yet fallen due. Moreover, 
a faithful and exact account shall be made out, showing the entire 
amount of all duties on imports and on exports, collected at such 
custom-houses, or elsewhere in Mexico, by authority of the United 
States, from and after the day of ratification of this treaty by the 
Government of the Mexican Republic; and also an account of the 
cost of collection; and such entire amount, deducting only the cost 
of collection, shall be delivered to the Mexican Government, at the 
city of Mexico, within three months after the exchange of rati- 

The evacuation of the capital of the Mexican Republic by the troops 
of the United States, in virtue of the above stipulation, shall be com- 
pleted in one month after the orders there stipulated for shall have 
been received by the commander of said troops, or sooner if possible. 


Immediately after the exchange of ratifications of the present 
treaty all castles, forts, territories, places, and possessions, which have 
been taken or occupied by the forces of the United States during the 
present war, within the limits of the Mexican Republic, as about to 
be established by the following article, shall be definitely restored to 
the said Republic, together with all the artillery, arms, apparatus of 
war, munitions, and other public property, which were in the said 
castles and forts when captured, and which shall remain there at the 
time when this treaty shall be duly ratified by the Government of 
the Mexican Republic. To this end, immediately upon the signature 
of this treaty, orders shall be despatched to the American officers com- 
manding such castles and forts, securing against the removal or 
destruction of any such artillery, arms, apparatus of war, munitions, 
or other public property. The city of Mexico, within the inner line 
of intrenchments surrounding the said city, is comprehended in the 
above stipulation, as regards the restoration of artillery, apparatus of 
war, &c. 


The final evacuation of the territory of the Mexican Republic, by 
the forces of the United States, shall be completed in three months 
from the said exchange of ratifications, or sooner if possible; the 
Mexican Government hereby engaging, as in the foregoing article, 
to use all means in its power for facilitating such evacuation, and 
rendering it convenient to the troops, and for promoting a good 
understanding between them and the inhabitants. 

If, however, the ratification of this treaty by both parties should not 
take place in time to allow the embarcation of the troops of the 
United States to be completed before the commencement of the 
sickly season, at the Mexican ports on the Gulf of Mexico, in such 
case a friendly arrangement shall be entered into between the 
General-in-chief of the said troops and the Mexican Government, 
whereby healthy and otherwise suitable places, at a distance from the 
ports not exceeding thirty leagues, shall be designated for the resi- 
dence of such troops as may not yet have embarked, until the return 
of the healthy reason. And the space of time here referred to as 
comprehending the sickly season shall be understood to extend from 
the first day of May to the first day of November. 

All prisoners of war taken on either side, on land or on sea, shall 
be restored as soon as practicable after the exchange of ratifications 
of this treaty. It is also agreed that if any Mexicans should now be 
held as captives by any savage tribe within the limits of the United 
States, as about to be established by the following article, the Govern- 
ment of the said United States will exact the release of such captives, 
and cause them to be restored to their country. 


The boundary line between the two Republics shall commence in 
the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of 
the Rio Grande, otherwise called Rio Bravo del Norte, or opposite 
the mouth of its deepest branch, if it should have more than one 
branch emptying directly into the sea; from thence up the middle of 
that river, following the deepest channel, where it has more than 
one, to the point where it strikes the southern boundary of New 
Mexico; thence, westwardly, along the whole southern boundary of 
New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its 


western termination; thence, northward, along the western line of 
New Mexico, until it intersects the first branch of the river Gila; (or 
if it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point 
on the said line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to 
the same) ; thence down the middle of the said branch and of the 
said river, until it empties into the Rio Colorado; thence across the 
Rio Colorado, following the division line between Upper and Lower 
California, to the Pacific Ocean. 

The southern and western limits of New Mexico, mentioned in 
this article, are those laid down in 'the map entitled "Map of the 
United Mexican States, as organized and defined by various acts of 
the Congress of said republic, and constructed according to the best 
authorities. Revised edition. Published at New Yorl^, in 1847, by 
]. Disturncll;" of which map a copy is added to this treaty, bearing 
the signatures and seals of the undersigned Plenipotentiaries. And, 
in order to preclude all difficulty in tracing upon the ground the limit 
separating Upper from Lower California, it is agreed that the said 
limit shall consist of a straight line drawn from the middle of the 
Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado, to a point on the coast 
of the Pacific Ocean, distant one marine league due south of the 
southernmost point of the port of San Diego, according to the plan 
of said port made in the year 1782 by Don Juan Pantoja, second 
sailing-master of the Spanish fleet, and published at Madrid in the 
year 1802, in the atlas to the voyage of the schooners Sutil and Mexi- 
cana; of which plan a copy is hereunto added, signed and sealed by 
the respective Plenipotentiaries. 

In order to designate the boundary line with due precision, upon 
authoritative maps, and to establish upon the ground land-marks 
which shall show the limits of both republics, as described in the 
present article, the two Governments shall each appoint a commis- 
sioner and a surveyor, who, before the expiration of one year from 
the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, shall meet at 
the port of San Diego, and proceed to run and mark the said boun- 
dary in its whole course to the mouth of the Rio Bravo del Norte. 
They shall keep journals and make out plans of their operations; 
and the result agreed upon by them shall be deemed a part of this 
treaty, and shall have the same force as if it were inserted therein. 


The two Governments will amicably agree regarding what may be 
necessary to these persons, and also as to their respective escorts, 
should such be necessary. 

The boundary line established by this article shall be religiously 
respected by each of the two republics, and no change shall ever be 
made therein, except by the express and free consent of both nations, 
lawfully given by the General Government of each, in conformity 
with its own constitution. 


The vessels and citizens of the United States shall, in all time, 
have a free and uninterrupted passage by the Gulf of California, 
and by the river Colorado below its confluence with the Gila, to and 
from their possessions situated north of the boundary line defined 
in the preceding article; it being understood that this passage is to 
be by navigating the Gulf of California and the river Colorado, and 
not by land, without the express consent of the Mexican Government. 

If, by the examinations which may be made, it should be ascer- 
tained to be practicable and advantageous to construct a road, canal, 
or railway, which should in whole or in part run upon the river 
Gila, or upon its right or its left bank, within the space of one marine 
league from either margin of the river, the Governments of both 
republics will form an agreement regarding its construction, in order 
that it may serve equally for the use and advantage of both countries. 


The river Gila, and the part of the Rio Bravo del Norte lying 
below the southern boundary of New Mexico, being, agreeably to 
the fifth article, divided in the middle between the two republics, the 
navigation of the Gila and of the Bravo below said boundary shall 
be free and common to the vessels and citizens of both countries; 
and neither shall, without the consent of the other, construct any 
work that may impede or interrupt, in whole or in part, the exercise 
of this right; not even for the purpose of favoring new methods of 
navigation. Nor shall any tax or contribution, under any denomina- 
tion or tide, be levied upon vessels or persons navigating the same, 
or upon merchandise or effects transported thereon, except in the 


case of landing upon one of their shores. If, for the purpose of mak- 
ing the said rivers navigable, or for maintaining them in such state, 
it should be necessary or advantageous to establish any tax or contri- 
bution, this shall not be done without the consent of both Govern- 

The stipulations contained in the present article shall not impair 
the territorial rights of either republic within its established limits. 


Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to 
Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the 
United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to con- 
tinue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexi- 
can Republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said 
territories, or disposing thereof, and removing the proceeds wherever 
they please, without their being subjected, on this account, to any 
contribution, tax, or charge whatever. 

Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories may either 
retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of 
citizens of the United States. But they shall be under the obligation 
to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange 
of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said 
territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared 
their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be consid- 
ered to have elected to become citizens of the United States. 

In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to 
Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The 
present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may here- 
after acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it 
guarantees equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the 
United States. 


The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve 
the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with 
what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into 
the Union of the United States, and be admitted at the proper time 


(to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoy- 
ment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to 
the principles of the Constitution; and in the mean time, shall be 
maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and 
property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without 

[Stricken out.] 


Considering that a great part of the territories, which, by the 
present treaty, are to be comprehended for the future within the 
limits of the United States, is now occupied by savage tribes, who 
will hereafter be under the exclusive control of the Government of 
the United States, and whose incursions within the territory of 
Mexico would -be prejudicial in the extreme, it is solemnly agreed 
that all such incursions shall be forcibly restrained by the Govern- 
ment of the United States whensoever this may be necessary; and 
that when they cannot be prevented, they shall be punished by the 
said Government, and satisfaction for the same shall be exacted all 
in the same way, and with equal diligence and energy, as if the same 
incursions were meditated or committed within its own territory, 
against its own citizens. 

It shall not be lawful, under any pretext whatever, for any inhabi- 
tant of the United States to purchase or acquire any Mexican, or any 
foreigner residing in Mexico, who may have been captured by Indians 
inhabiting the territory of either of the two republics; nor to purchase 
or acquire horses, mules, cattle, or property of any kind, stolen within 
Mexican territory by such Indians. 

And in the event of any person or persons, captured within Mexi- 
can territory by Indians, being carried into the territory of the United 
States, the Government of the latter engages and binds itself, in the 
most solemn manner, so soon as it shall know of such captives being 
within its territory, and shall be able so to do, through the faithful 
exercise of its influence and power, to rescue them and return them 
to their country, or deliver them to the agent or representative of the 


Mexican Government. The Mexican authorities will, as far as prac- 
ticable, give to the Government of the United States notice of such 
captures; and its agents shall pay the expenses incurred in the main- 
tenance and transmission of the rescued captives; who, in the mean 
time, shall be treated with the utmost hospitality by the American 
authorities at the place where they may be. But if the Government 
of the United States, before receiving such notice from Mexico, 
should obtain intelligence, through any other channel, of the ex- 
istence of Mexican captives within its territory, it will proceed forth- 
with to effect their release and delivery to the Mexican agent, as 
above stipulated. 

For the purpose of giving to these stipulations the fullest possible 
efficacy, thereby affording the security and redress demanded by their 
true spirit and intent, the Government of the United States will now 
and hereafter pass, without unnecessary delay, and always vigilantly 
enforce, such laws as the nature of the subject may require. And, 
finally, the sacredness of this obligation shall never be lost sight of 
by the said Government, when providing for the removal of the 
Indians from any portion of the said territories, or for its being 
settled by citizens of the United States; but, on the contrary, special 
care shall then be taken not to place its Indian occupants under the 
necessity of seeking new homes, by committing those invasions which 
the United States have solemnly obliged themselves to restrain. 


In consideration of the extension acquired by the boundaries of 
the United States, as defined in the fifth article of the present treaty, 
the Government of the United States engages to pay to that of the 
Mexican Republic the sum of fifteen millions of dollars. 

Immediately after the treaty shall have been duly ratified by the 
Government of the Mexican Republic, the sum of three millions of 
dollars shall be paid to the said Government by that of the United 
States, at the city of Mexico, in the gold or silver coin of Mexico. 
The remaining twelve millions of dollars shall be paid at the same 
place, and in the same coin, in annual instalments of three millions 
of dollars each, together with interest on the same at the rate of six 
per centum per annum. This interest shall begin to run upon the 


whole sum of twelve millions from the day of the ratification of the 
present treaty by the Mexican Government, and the first of the 
instalments shall be paid at the expiration of one year from the same 
day. Together with each annual instalment, as it falls due, the whole 
interest accruing on such instalment from the beginning shall also 
be paid. 


The United States engage, moreover, to assume and pay to the 
claimants all the amounts now due them, and those hereafter to 
become due, by reason of the claims already liquidated and decided 
against the Mexican Republic, under the conventions between the 
two republics severally concluded on the eleventh day of April, 
eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, and on the thirtieth day of Jan- 
uary, eighteen hundred and forty-three; so that the Mexican Republic 
shall be absolutely exempt, for the future, from all expense whatever 
on account of the said claims. 


The United States do furthermore discharge the Mexican Republic 
from all claims of citizens of the United States, not heretofore decided 
against the Mexican Government, which may have arisen previously 
to the date of the signature of this treaty; which discharge shall be 
final and perpetual, whether the said claims be rejected or be allowed 
by the board of commissioners provided for in the following article, 
and whatever shall be the total amount of those allowed. 


The United States, exonerating Mexico from all demands on 
account of the claims of their citizens mentioned in the preceding 
article, and considering them entirely and forever cancelled, what- 
ever their amount may be, undertake to make satisfaction for the 
same, to an amount not exceeding three and one-quarter millions 
of dollars. To ascertain the validity and amount of those claims, a 
board of commissioners shall be established by the Government of 
the United States, whose awards shall be final and conclusive; pro- 
vided that, in deciding upon the validity of each claim, the board 
shall be guided and governed by the principles and rules of decision 


prescribed by the first and fifth articles of the unratified convention, 
concluded at the city of Mexico on the twentieth day of November, 
one thousand eight hundred and forty-three; and in no case shall 
an award be made in favour of any claim not embraced by these 
principles and rules. 

If, in the opinion of the said board of commissioners or of the 
claimants, any books, records, or documents, in the possession or 
power of the Government of the Mexican Republic, shall be deemed 
necessary to the just decision of any claim, the commissioners, or the 
claimants through them, shall, within such period as Congress may 
designate, make an application in writing for the same, addressed to 
the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, to be transmitted by the 
Secretary of State of the United States; and the Mexican Government 
engages, at the earliest possible moment after the receipt of such 
demand, to cause any of the books, records, or documents so specified, 
which shall be in their possession or power (or authenticated copies 
or extracts of the same), to be transmitted to the said Secretary of 
State, who shall immediately deliver them over to the said board of 
commissioners; provided that no such application shall be made by 
or at the instance of any claimant, until the facts which it is expected 
to prove by such books, records, or documents, shall have been stated 
under oath or affirmation. 


Each of the contracting parties reserves to itself the entire right 
to fortify whatever point within its territory it may judge proper so 
to fortify for its security. 


The treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, concluded at the 
city of Mexico, on the fifth day of April, A. D. 1831, between the 
United States of America and the United Mexican States, except the 
additional article, and except so far as the stipulations of the said 
treaty may be incompatible with any stipulation contained in the 
present treaty, is hereby revived for the period of eight years from the 
day of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, with the same 
force and virtue as if incorporated therein; it being understood that 


each of the contracting parties reserves to itself the right, at any time 
after the said period of eight years shall have expired, to terminate 
the same by giving one year's notice of such intention to the other 


All supplies whatever for troops of the United States in Mexico, 
arriving at ports in the occupation of such troops previous to the 
final evacuation thereof, although subsequently to the restoration of 
the custom-houses at such ports, shall be entirely exempt from duties 
and charges of any kind; the Government of the United States hereby 
engaging and pledging its faith to establish and vigilantly to enforce, 
all possible guards for securing the revenue of Mexico, by preventing 
the importation, under cover of this stipulation, of any articles other 
than such, both in kind and in quantity, as shall really be wanted 
for the use and consumption of the forces of the United States during 
the time they- may remain in Mexico. To this end it shall be the 
duty of all officers and agents of the United States to denounce to 
the Mexican authorities at the respective ports any attempts at a 
fraudulent abuse of this stipulation, which they may know of, or 
may have reason to suspect, and to give to such authorities all the 
aid in their power with regard thereto; and every such attempt, when 
duly proved and established by sentence of a competent tribunal, 
shall be punished by the confiscation of the property so attempted to 
be fraudulently introduced. 


With respect to all merchandise, effects, and property whatsoever, 
imported into ports of Mexico, whilst in the occupation of the forces 
of the United States, whether by citizens of either republic, or by 
citizens or subjects of any neutral nation, the following rules shall 
be observed: 

(i) All such merchandise, effects, and property, if imported pre- 
viously to the restoration of the custom-houses to the Mexican author- 
ities, as stipulated for in the third article of this treaty, shall be 
exempt from confiscation, although the importation of the same be 
prohibited by the Mexican tariff. 


(2) The same perfect exemption shall be enjoyed by all such 
merchandise, effects, and property, imported subsequently to the 
restoration of the custom-houses, and previously to the sixty days 
fixed in the following article for the coming into force of the Mexi- 
can tariff at such ports respectively; the said merchandise, effects, 
and property being, however, at the time of their importation, subject 
to the payment of duties, as provided for in the said following article. 

(3) All merchandise, effects, and property described in the two 
rules foregoing shall, during their continuance at the place of im- 
portation, and upon their leaving such place for the interior, be 
exempt from all duty, tax, or imposts of every kind, under whatso- 
ever title or denomination. Nor shall they be there subject to any 
charge whatsoever upon the sale thereof. 

(4) All merchandise, effects, and property, described in the first 
and second rules, which shall have been removed to any place in the 
interior, whilst such place was in the occupation of the forces of the 
United States, shall, during their continuance therein, be exempt 
from all tax upon the sale or consumption thereof, and from every 
kind of impost or contribution, under whatsoever title or denom- 

(5) But if any merchandise, effects, or property, described in the 
first and second rules, shall be removed to any place not occupied 
at the time by the forces of the United States, they shall, upon their 
introduction into such place, or upon their sale or consumption 
there, be subject to the same duties which, under the Mexican laws, 
they would be required to pay in such cases if they had been imported 
in time of peace, through the maritime custom-houses, and had there 
paid the duties conformably with the Mexican tariff. 

(6) The owners of all merchandise, effects, or property, described 
in the first and second rules, and existing in any port of Mexico, shall 
have the right to reship the same, exempt from all tax, impost, or 
contribution whatever. 

With respect to the metals, or other property, exported from any 
Mexican port whilst in the occupation of the forces of the United 
States, and previously to the restoration of the custom-house at such 
port, no person shall be required by the Mexican authorities, whether 
general or state, to pay any tax, duty, or contribution upon any such 


exportation, or in any manner to account for the same to the said 


Through consideration for the interests of commerce generally, it 
is agreed, that if less than sixty days should elapse between the date 
of the signature of this treaty and the restoration of the custom- 
houses, conformably with the stipulation in the third article, in such 
case all merchandise, effects and property whatsoever, arriving at the 
Mexican ports after the restoration of the said custom-houses, and 
previously to the expiration of sixty days after the day of signature 
of this treaty, shall be admitted to entry; and no other duties shall 
be levied thereon than the duties established by the tariff found in 
force at such custom-houses at the time of the restoration of the same. 
And to all such merchandise, effects, and property, the rules estab- 
lished by the preceding article shall apply. 


If unhappily any disagreement should hereafter arise between the 
Governments of the two republics, whether with respect to the inter- 
pretation of any stipulation in this treaty, or with respect to any other 
particular concerning the political or commercial relations of the 
two nations, the said Governments, in the name of those nations, do 
promise to each other that they will endeavour, in the most sincere 
and earnest manner, to settle the differences so arising, and to pre- 
serve the state of peace and friendship in which the two countries 
are now placing themselves, using, for this end, mutual representa- 
tions and pacific negotiations. And if, by these means, they should 
not be enabled to come to an agreement, a resort shall not, on this 
account, be had to reprisals, aggression, or hostility of any kind, by 
the one republic against the other, until the Government of that 
which deems itself aggrieved shall have maturely considered, in 
the spirit of peace and good neighbourship, whether it would not 
be better that such difference should be settled by the arbitration of 
commissioners appointed on each side, or by that of a friendly na- 
tion. And should such course be proposed by either party, it shall 
be acceded to by the other, unless deemed by it altogether incom- 


patible with the nature of the difference, or the circumstances of the 


If (which is not to be expected, and which God forbid) war 
should unhappily break out between the two republics, they da 
now, with a view to such calamity, solemnly pledge themselves 
to each other and to the world to observe the following rules; ab- 
solutely where the nature of the subject permits, and as closely as 
possible in all cases where such absolute observance shall be impos- 

(i) The merchants of either republic then residing in the other 
shall be allowed to remain twelve months (for those dwelling in 
the interior), and six months (for those dwelling at the seaports) 
to collect their debts and settle their affairs; during which periods 
they shall enjoy the same protection, and be on the same footing,, 
in all respects, as the citizens or subjects of the most friendly na- 
tions; and, at the expiration thereof, or at any time before, they 
shall have full liberty to depart, carrying off all their effects without 
molestation or hindrance, conforming therein to the same laws 
which the citizens or subjects of the most friendly nations are re- 
quired to conform to. Upon the entrance of the armies of either 
nation into the territories of the other, women and children, ec- 
clesiastics, scholars of every faculty, cultivators of the earth, mer- 
chants, artisans, manufacturers, and fishermen, unarmed and in- 
habiting unfortified towns, villages, or places, and in general all 
persons whose occupations are for the common subsistence and 
benefit of mankind, shall be allowed to continue their respective 
employments, unmolested in their persons. Nor shall their houses 
or goods be burnt or otherwise destroyed, nor their cattle taken, 
nor their fields wasted, by the armed force into whose power, by 
the events of war, they may happen to fall; but if the necessity 
arise to take anything from them for the use of such armed force, 
the same shall be paid for at an equitable price. All churches, hos- 
pitals, schools, colleges, libraries, and other establishments for 
charitable and beneficent purposes, shall be respected, and all 
persons connected with the same protected in the discharge of 
their duties, and the pursuit of their vocations. 


(2) In order that the fate of prisoners of war may be alleviated, 
all such practices as those of sending them into distant, inclement, 
or unwholesome districts, or crowding them into close and noxious 
places, shall be studiously avoided. They shall not be confined in 
dungeons, prisonships, or prisons; nor be put in irons, or bound, 
or otherwise restrained in the use of their limbs. The officers shall 
enjoy liberty on their paroles, within convenient districts, and have 
comfortable quarters; and the common soldiers shall be disposed 
in cantonments, open and extensive enough for air and exercise, 
and lodged in barracks as roomy and good as are provided by the 
party in whose power they are for its own troops. But if any officer 
shall break his parole by leaving the district so assigned him, or 
any other prisoner shall escape from the limits of his cantonment, 
after they shall have been designated to him, such individual, officer, 
or other prisoner, shall forfeit so much of the benefit of this article 
as provides for his liberty on parole or in cantonment. And if 
any officer so breaking his parole, or any common soldier so escaping 
from the limits assigned him, shall afterwards be found in arms, 
previously to his being regularly exchanged, the person so offending 
shall be dealt with according to the established laws of war. The 
officers shall be daily furnished, by the party in whose power they 
are, with as many rations, and of the same articles, as are allowed, 
either in kind or by commutation, to officers of equal rank in its own 
army; and all others shall be daily furnished with such ration as 
is allowed to a common soldier in its own service; the value of all 
which supplies shall, at the close of the war, or at periods to be 
agreed upon between the respective commanders, be paid by the 
other party, on a mutual adjustment of accounts for the subsistence 
of prisoners; and such accounts shall not be mingled with or set 
off against any others, nor the balance due on them withheld, as 
a compensation or reprisal for any cause whatever, real or pretended. 
Each party shall be allowed to keep a commissary of prisoners, ap- 
pointed by itself, with every cantdnment of prisoners, in possession 
of the other; which commissary shall see the prisoners as often as 
he pleases; shall be allowed to receive, exempt from all duties or 
taxes, and to distribute, whatever comforts may be sent to them by 


their friends; and shall be free to transmit his reports in open letters 
to the party by whom he is employed. 

And it is declared that neither the pretence that war dissolves all 
treaties, nor any other whatever, shall be considered as annulling 
or suspending the solemn covenant contained in this article. On the 
contrary, the state of war is precisely that for which it is provided; 
and, during which, its stipulations are to be as sacredly observed as 
the most acknowledged obligations under the law of nature or 


This treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States 
of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate there- 
of; and by the President of the Mexican Republic, with the previous 
approbation of its general Congress; and the ratifications shall be 
exchanged in the City of Washington, or at the seat of Government 
of Mexico, in four months from the date of the signature hereof, 
or sooner if practicable. 

In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed 
this treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and settlement, and have 
hereunto affixed our seals respectively. Done in quintuplicate, at the 
city of Guadalupe Hidalgo, on the second day of February, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight. 

N. P. TRIST [L. s.] 

Luis P. CUEVAS [L. s.] 





[The Fugitive Slave Act was part of the group of measures known collectively as 
the "Compromise of 1850." By this compromise, the anti-slavery party gained the 
admission of California as a free state, and the prohibition of slave-trading in the 
District of Columbia. The slavery party, on the other hand, besides concessions with 
regard to Texas, gained this act, which, however, by its stringency did much to 
rouse abolitionist sentiment in the North.] 

~W ^\E IT enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
r the United States of America in Congress assembled, That 

M J the persons who have been, or may hereafter be, appointed 
commissioners, in virtue of any act of Congress, by the Circuit 
Courts of the United States, and Who, in consequence of such ap- 
pointment, are authorized to exercise the powers that any justice of 
the peace, or other magistrate of any of the United States, may 
exercise in respect to offenders for any crime or offense against 
the United States, by arresting, imprisoning, or bailing the same 
under and by the virtue of the thirty-third section of the act of the 
twenty-fourth of September seventeen hundred and eighty-nine, 
entitled "An Act to establish the judicial courts of the United States*' 
shall be, and are hereby, authorized and required to exercise and 
discharge all the powers and dudes conferred by this act. 

SEC. 2. And be it farther enacted, That the Superior Court of each 
organized Territory of the United States shall have the same power 
to appoint commissioners to take acknowledgments of bail and 
affidavits, and to take depositions of witnesses in civil causes, which 
is now possessed by the Circuit Court of the United States; and all 
commissioners who shall hereafter be appointed for such purposes 
by the Superior Court of any organized Territory of the United 
States, shall possess all the powers, and exercise all the duties, con- 
ferred by law upon the commissioners appointed by the Circuit 
Courts of the United States for similar purposes, and shall moreover 
exercise and discharge all the powers and duties conferred by this 



SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the Circuit Courts of the 
United States shall from time to time enlarge the number of the 
commissioners, with a view to afford reasonable facilities to reclaim 
fugitives from labor, and to the prompt discharge of the duties im- 
posed by this act. 

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners above 
named shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the judges of the 
Circuit and District Courts of the United States, in their respective 
circuits and districts within the several States, and the judges of the 
Superior Courts of the Territories, severally and collectively, in 
term-time and vacation; shall grant certificates to such claimants, 
upon satisfactory proof being made, with authority to take and re- 
move such fugitives from service or labor, under the restrictions 
herein contained, to the State or Territory from which such persons 
may have escaped or fled. 

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of 
all marshals and deputy marshals to obey and execute all warrants 
and precepts issued under the provisions of this act, when to them 
directed; and should any marshal or deputy marshal refuse to re- 
ceive such warrant, or other process, when tendered, or to use all 
proper means diligently to execute the same, he shall, on conviction 
thereof, be fined in the sum of one thousand dollars, to the use of 
such claimant, on the motion of such claimant, by the Circuit or 
District Court for the district of such marshal; and after arrest of 
such fugitive, by such marshal or his deputy, or whilst at any time 
in his custody under the provisions of this act, should such fugitive 
escape, whether with or without the assent of such marshal or his 
deputy, such marshal shall be liable, on his official bond, to be pros- 
ecuted for the benefit of such claimant, for the full value of the 
service or labor of said fugitive in the State, Territory, or District 
whence he escaped: and the better to enable the said commissioners, 
when thus appointed, to execute their duties faithfully and efficient- 
ly, in conformity with the requirements of the Constitution of the 
United States and of this act, they are hereby authorized and em- 
powered, within their counties respectively, to appoint, in writing 
under their hands, any one or more suitable persons, from time to 
time, to execute all such warrants and other process as may be issued 


by them in the lawful performance of their respective duties; with 
authority to such commissioners, or the persons to be appointed by 
them, to execute process as aforesaid, to summon and call to their 
aid the bystanders, or posse comitatus of the proper county, when 
necessary to ensure a faithful observance of the clause of the Con- 
stitution referred to, in conformity with the provisions of this act; 
and all good citizens are hereby commanded to aid and assist in the 
prompt and efficient execution of this law, whenever their services 
may be required, as aforesaid, for that purpose; and said warrants 
shall run, and be executed by said officers, any where in the State 
within which they are issued. 

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That when a person held to 
service or labor in any State or Territory of the United States, has 
heretofore or shall hereafter escape into another State or Territory 
of the United States, the person or persons to whom such service or 
labor may be due, or his, her, or their agent or attorney, duly author- 
ized, by powe^ of attorney, in writing, acknowledged and certified 
under the seal of some legal officer or court of the State or Territory 
in which the same may be executed, may pursue and reclaim such 
fugitive person, either by procuring a warrant from some one of 
the courts, judges, or commissioners aforesaid, of the proper circuit, 
district, or county, for the apprehension of such fugitive from service 
or labor, or by seizing and arresting such fugitive, where the same 
can be done without process, and by taking, or causing such person 
to be taken, forthwith before such court, judge, or commissioner, 
whose duty it shall be to hear and determine the case of such claim- 
ant in a summary manner; and upon satisfactory proof being made, 
by deposition or affidavit, in writing, to be taken and certified by 
such court, judge, or commissioner, or by other satisfactory testi- 
mony, duly taken and certified by some court, magistrate, justice 
of the peace, or other legal officer authorized to administer an oath 
and take depositions under the laws of the State or Territory from 
which such person owing service or labor may have escaped, with 
a certificate of such magistracy or other authority, as aforesaid, with 
the seal of the proper ourt or officer thereto attached, which seal 
shall be sufficient to establish the competency of the proof, and with 
proof, also by affidavit, of the identity of the person whose service 


or labor is claimed to be due as aforesaid, that the person so arrested 
does in fact owe service or labor to the person or persons claiming 
him or her, in the State or Territory from which such fugitive may 
have escaped as aforesaid, and that said person escaped, to make 
out and deliver to such claimant, his or her agent or attorney, a 
certificate setting forth the substantial facts as to the service or labor 
due from such fugitive to the claimant, and of his or her escape 
from the State or Territory in which he or she was arrested, with 
authority to such claimant, or his or her agent or attorney, to use 
such reasonable force and restraint as may be necessary, under the 
circumstances of the case, to take and remove such fugitive person 
back to the State or Territory whence he or she may have escaped 
as aforesaid. In no trial or hearing under this act shall the testimony 
of such alleged fugitive be admitted in evidence; and the certificates 
in this and the first [fourth] section mentioned, shall be conclusive 
of the right of the person or persons in whose favor granted, to re- 
move such fugitive to the State or Territory from which he escaped, 
and shall prevent all molestation of such person or persons by any 
process issued by any court, judge, magistrate, or other person whom- 

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That any person who shall 
knowingly and willingly obstruct, hinder, or prevent such claimant, 
his agent or attorney, or any person or persons lawfully assisting 
him, her, or them, from arresting such a fugitive from service or 
labor, either with or without process as aforesaid, or shall rescue, or 
attempt to rescue, such fugitive from service or labor, from the 
custody of such claimant, his or her agent or attorney, or other 
person or persons lawfully assisting as aforesaid, when so arrested, 
pursuant to the authority herein given and declared; or shall aid, 
abet, or assist such person so owing service or labor as aforesaid, 
directly or indirectly, to escape from such claimant, his agent or at- 
torney, or other person or persons legally authorized as aforesaid; 
or shall harbor or conceal such fugitive, so as to prevent the dis- 
covery and arrest of such person, after notice or knowledge of the 
fact that such person was a fugitive from service or labor as aforesaid, 
shall, for either of said offences, be subject to a fine not exceeding 
one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding six months, 


by indictment and conviction before the District Court of the 
United States for the district in which such offence may have been 
committed, or before the proper court of criminal jurisdiction, if 
committed within any one of the organized Territories of the 
United States; and shall moreover forfeit and pay, by way of civil 
damages to the party injured by such illegal conduct, the sum of 
one thousand dollars for each fugitive so lost as aforesaid, to be 
recovered by action of debt, in any of the District or Territorial 
Courts aforesaid, within whose jurisdiction the said offence may have 
been committed. 

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the marshals, their dep- 
uties, and the clerks of the said District and Territorial Courts, 
shall be paid, for their services, the like fees as may be allowed for 
similar services in other cases; and where such services are rendered 
exclusively in the arrest, custody, and delivery of the fugitive to the 
claimant, his or her agent or attorney, or where such supposed 
fugitive may be' discharged out of custody for the want of sufficient 
proof as aforesaid, then such fees are to be paid in whole by such 
claimant, his or her agent or attorney; and in all cases where the 
proceedings are before a commissioner, he shall be entitled to a fee 
of ten dollars in full for his services in each case, upon the delivery 
of the said certificate to the claimant, his agent or attorney; or a 
fee of five dollars in cases where the proof shall not, in the opinion 
of such commissioner, warrant such certificate and delivery, in- 
clusive of all services incident to such arrest and examination, to 
be paid, in either case, by the claimant, his or her agent or attorney. 
The person or persons authorized to execute the process to be issued 
by such commissioner for the arrest and detention of fugitives from 
service or labor as aforesaid, shall also be entitled to a fee of five 
dollars each for each person he or they may arrest, and take be- 
fore any commissioner as aforesaid, at the instance and request of 
such claimant, with such other /ees as may be deemed reasonable 
by such commissioner for such other additional services as may be 
necessarily performed by him or them; such as attending at the 
examination, keeping the fugitive in custody, and providing him 
with food and lodging during his detention, and until the final de- 
termination of such commissioners; and, in general, for performing 


such other duties as may be required by such claimant, his or her 
attorney or agent, or commissioner in the premises, such fees to be 
made up in conformity with the fees usually charged by the officers 
of the courts of justice within the proper district or county, as near 
as may be practicable, and paid by such claimants, their agents or 
attorneys, whether such supposed fugitives from service or labor 
be ordered to be delivered to such claimant by the final determina- 
tion of such commissioner or not. 

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That, upon affidavit made by 
the claimant of such fugitive, his agent or attorney, after such cer- 
tificate has been issued, that he has reason to apprehend that such 
fugitive will be rescued by force from his or their possession before 
he can be taken beyond the limits of the State in which the arrest 
is made, it shall be the duty of the officer making the arrest to re- 
tain such fugitive in his custody, and to remove him to the State 
whence he fled, and there to deliver him to said claimant, his agent, 
or attorney. And to this end, the officer aforesaid is hereby authorized 
and required to employ so many persons as he may deem necessary 
to overcome such force, and to retain them in his service so long as 
circumstances may require. The said officer and his assistants, while 
so employed, to receive the same compensation, and to be allowed 
the same expenses, as are now allowed by law for transportation of 
criminals, to be certified by the judge of the district within which 
the arrest is made, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. 

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That when any person held 
to service or labor in any State or Territory, or in the District of 
Columbia, shall escape therefrom, the party to whom such service or 
labor shall be due, his, her, or their agent or attorney, may apply to 
any court of record therein, or judge thereof in vacation, and make 
satisfactory proof to such court, or judge in vacation, of the escape 
aforesaid, and that the person escaping owed service or labor to 
such party. Whereupon the court shall cause a record to be made 
of the matters so proved, and also a general description of the person 
so escaping, with such convenient certainty as may be; and a tran- 
script of such record, authenticated by the attestation of the clerk 
and of the seal of the said court, being produced in any other State, 
Territory, or district in which the person so escaping may be found, 


and being exhibited to any judge, commissioner, or other officer 
authorized by the law of the United States to cause persons escaping 
from service or labor to be delivered up, shall be held and taken to 
be full and conclusive evidence of the fact of escape, and that the 
service or labor of the person escaping is due to the party in such 
record mentioned. And upon the production by the said party of 
other and further evidence if necessary, either oral or by affidavit, in 
addition to what is contained in the said record of the identity of the 
person escaping, he or she shall be delivered up to the claimant. 
And the said court, commissioner, judge, or other person authorized 
by this act to grant certificates to claimants or fugitives, shall, upon 
the production of the record and other evidences aforesaid, grant 
to such claimant a certificate of his right to take any such person 
identified and proved to be owing service or labor as aforesaid, 
which certificate shall authorize such claimant to seize or arrest 
and transport such person to the State or Territory from which he 
escaped: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed 
as requiring the production of a transcript of such record as evidence 
as aforesaid. But in its absence the claim shall be heard and de- 
termined upon other satisfactory proofs, competent in law. 
Approved, September 18, 1850. 



[The platform on which Abraham Lincoln was elected President is sufficiently 
indicated in his inaugural address. But between the date of his election on that plat- 
form and his inauguration, seven Southern States had seceded from the Union, 
formed a provisional government, and seized most of the forts, etc., belonging to the 
United States within the seceding territory. It was this situation that Lincoln faced 
as he took up the task of government.] 

r\ELLOW -CITIZENS of the United States: In compliance 

m^ with a custom as old is the Government itself, I appear 
JL before you to address you briefly, and to take in your 
presence the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United 
States to be taken by the President "before he enters on the execution 
of his office." 

I do not consider it necessary at present for me to discuss those 
matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety 
or excitement. 

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern 
States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their 
property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered* 
There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. 
Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while 
existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly 
all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do 
but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "I have 
no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution 
of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful 
right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Those who 
nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had 
made this and many similar declarations, and had never recanted 
them. And, more than this, they placed in the platform for my 
acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and 
emphatic resolution which I now read: 



"Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the 
States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its 
own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, 
is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and 
endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce the law- 
less invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, 
no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes." 

I now reiterate these sentiments; and, in doing so, I only press 
upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which 
the case is susceptible, that the property, peace, and security of no 
section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Ad- 
ministration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently 
with the Constitution and the laws, can be given, will be cheer- 
fully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever 
cause as cheerfully to one section, as to another. 

There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives 
from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written 
in the Constitution as any other of its provisions: 

"No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws 
thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or 
regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but 
shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or 
labor may be due." 

It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those 
who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and 
the intention of the lawgiver is the law. All Members of Congress 
swear their support to the whole Constitution to this provision as 
much as to any other. To the proposition, then, that slaves whose 
cases come within the terms of this clause, "shall be delivered up,** 
their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in 
good temper, could they not with nearly equal unanimity frame 
and pass a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous 

There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should 
be enforced by national or by State authority; but surely that 
difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be surrendered, 
it can be of but little consequence to him, or to others, by which 


authority it is done. And should any one, in any case, be content 
that his oath shall go unkept, on a merely unsubstantial controversy 
as to how it shall be kept? 

Again, in any law upon this subject, ought not all the safeguards 
of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be in- 
troduced so that a free man be not, in any case, surrendered as a 
slave? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by 
law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which 
guarantees that "the citizen of each State shall be entitled to all 
privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States" ? 

I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and 
with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hyper- 
critical rules. And while I do not choose now to specify particular 
acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will 
be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to con- 
form to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed, than 
to violate any of them trusting to find impunity in having them 
held to be unconstitutional. 

It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President 
under our National Constitution. During that period fifteen 
different and greatly distinguished citizens have, in succession, ad- 
ministered the Executive branch of the Government. They have 
conducted it through many perils, and generally with great suc- 
cess. Yet, with all this scope of precedent, I now enter upon the 
same task for the brief constitutional term of four years under great 
and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, here- 
tofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted. 

I hold that, in contemplation of universal law and of the Con- 
stitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is im- 
plied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national gov- 
ernments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had 
a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to 
execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and 
the Union will endure forever it being impossible to destroy it ex- 
cept by some action not provided for in the instrument itself. 

Again, if the United States be not a Government proper, but an 
association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a 


contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made 
it? One party to a contract may violate it break it, so to speak, 
but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it? 

Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition 
that, in legal contemplation, the Union is perpetual, confirmed by 
the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the 
Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Associa- 
tion in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of 
Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of 
all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that 
it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. 
And, finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and 
establishing the Constitution was, "to form a more perfect Union." 

But if the destruction of the Union by one, or by a part only, of 
the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before 
the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity. 

It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere mo- 
tion, can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances 
to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any 
State or States, against the authority of the United States, are in- 
surrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances. 

I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the 
laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall 
take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that 
the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all of the States. Do- 
ing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall 
perform it, so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the 
American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or in some 
authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be 
regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union 
that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself. 

In doing this there needs to J>e no bloodshed or violence; and 
there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national authority. 
The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess 
the property and places belonging to the Government, and to col- 
lect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for 
these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or 


among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States, 
in any interior locality, shall be so great and universal as to prevent 
competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there 
will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people 
for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Gov- 
ernment to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do 
so would be so irritating, and so nearly impracticable withal, that 
I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices. 

The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all 
parts of the Union. So far as possible, the people everywhere shall 
have that sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm 
thought and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed 
unless current events and experience shall show a modification or 
change to be proper, and in every case and exigency my best dis- 
cretion will be exercised according to circumstances actually exist- 
ing, and with a view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the na- 
tional troubles, and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and 

That there are persons in one section or another who seek to 
destroy the Union at all events, and are glad of any pretext to do it, 
I will neither affirm nor deny; but if there be such, I need address 
no word to them. To those, however, who really love the Union 
may I not speak? 

Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our 
national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, 
would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you 
hazard so desperate a step while there is any possibility that any 
portion of the ills you fly from have no real existence? Will you, 
while the certain ills you fly to are greater than all the real ones 
you fly from will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake? 

All profess to be content in the Union, if all constitutional rights 
can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right, plainly written 
in the Constitution, has been denied? I think not. Happily the 
human mind is so constituted, that no party can reach to the audacity 
of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a 
plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. 
If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minor- 


ity in any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral 
point of view, justify revolution certainly would if such a right 
were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of 
minorities and of individuals are so plainly assured to them by 
affirmations and negations, guaranties and prohibitions, in the Con- 
stitution, that controversies never arise concerning them. But no 
organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically ap- 
plicable to every question which may occur in practical administra- 
tion. No foresight can anticipate, nor any document of reasonable 
length contain, express provisions for all possible questions. Shall 
fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or by State author- 
ity? The Constitution does not expressly say. May Congress 
prohibit slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not 
expressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in the Territories? 
The Constitution does not expressly say. 

From questions of this class spring all our constitutional contro- 
versies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. 
If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the Govern- 
ment must cease. There is no other alternative; for continuing the 
Government is acquiescence on one side or the other. 

If a minority in such case will secede rather than acquiesce, they 
make a precedent which in turn will divide and ruin them; for a 
minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority 
refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may 
not any portion of a new confederacy a year or two hence arbitrarily 
secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim 
to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now 
being educated to the exact temper of doing this. 

Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to com- 
pose a new Union as to produce harmony only, and prevent renewed 
secession ? 

Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A 
majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, 
and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular 
opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. 
Whoever rejects it does, of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism. 
Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority, as a permanent 


arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority 
principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left. 

I do not forget the position, assumed by some, that constitutional 
questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny 
that such decisions must be binding, in any case, upon the parties 
to a suit, as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to 
very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other 
departments of the Government. And while it is obviously possible 
that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil 
effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the 
chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for 
other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different 
practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if 
the policy of the Government, upon vital questions affecting the 
whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme 
Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between 
parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their 
own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their govern- 
ment into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this 
view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from 
which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before 
them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their deci- 
sions to political purposes. 

One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to 
be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to 
be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive-slave 
clause of the Constitution, and the law for the suppression of the 
foreign slave trade, are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law 
can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people 
imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people 
abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over 
in each. This, I think, cannot be perfectly cured; and it would be 
worse in both cases after the separation of the sections, than before. 
The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ulti- 
mately revived without restriction, in one section; while fugitive 
slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at 
all by the other. 


Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot remove our 
respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall 
between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out 
of the presence and beyond the reach of each other; but the different 
parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face 
to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue 
between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more 
advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can 
aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties 
be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among 
friends? Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, 
after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease 
fighting, the identical old questions as to terms of intercourse are 
again upon you. 

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who 
inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Govern- 
ment, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or 
their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. I cannot be 
ignorant of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are 
desirous of having the National Constitution amended. While I 
make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the 
rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exer- 
cised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and 
I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose, a 
fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it. I will 
venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in 
that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, 
instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions origi- 
nated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose, and which 
might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or 
refuse. I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution 
which amendment, however, I hav$ not seen has passed Congress, 
to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with 
the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held 
to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart 
from my purpose, not to speak of particular amendments, so far as to 


say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional 
law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable. 

The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, 
and they have conferred none upon him to fix terms for the separa- 
tion of the States. The people themselves can do this also if they 
choose; but the Executive, as such, has nothing to do with it. His 
duty is to administer the present Government, as it came to his 
hands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him, to his successor. 

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate 
justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? 
In our present differences is either party without faith of being in the 
right ? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with his eternal truth and 
justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that 
truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this 
great tribunal of the American people. 

By the frame of the Government under which we live, this same 
people have wisely given their public servants but little power for 
mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of 
that little, to their own hands at very short intervals. While the 
people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any 
extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the govern- 
ment in the short space of four years. 

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this 
whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there 
be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste to a step which you 
would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking 
time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are 
now dissatisfied, still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, 
on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while 
the new Administration will have no immediate power, if it would, 
to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied 
hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason 
for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a 
firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land 
are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty. 

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine. 


is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail 
you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggres- 
sors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the Govern- 
ment, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, 
and defend it.*' 

I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must 
not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not 
break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretch- 
ing from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart 
and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus 
of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the 
better angels of our nature. 



[The war for the maintenance of the Union had been going on for a year and a 
half before Lincoln issued the preliminary proclamation quoted in the beginning of 
the present document. The emancipation proclamation of January i, 1863, enlarged 
the basis of the conflict, and from the point of view of foreign nations gave the North 
the advantage of a moral as well as a political issue.] 

WHEREAS, on the twenty-second day of September, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty- 
two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the 
United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit: 
"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves 
within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof 
shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, 
thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of 
the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, 
will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do 
no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts 
they may make for their actual freedom. 

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by 
proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which 
the people thereof respectively, shall then be in rebellion against 
the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, 
shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the 
United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a 
majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, 
shall in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed 
conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not 
then in rebellion against the United States." 
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United 



States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-chief 
of the Army and Navy of the United States, in time of actual armed 
rebellion against authority and government of the United States, and 
as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, 
on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so 
to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days 
from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the 
States and parts of States wherein the people thereof, respectively, 
are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, 
to wit: 

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, 
Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, 
Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and 
Orleans, including the city of New Orleans) , Mississippi, Alabama, 
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia 
(except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and 
also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, 
York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk 
and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are, for the present, left 
precisely as if this proclamation were not issued. 

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do 
order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said desig- 
nated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; 
and that the Executive government of the United States, including 
the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and main- 
tain the freedom of said persons. 

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to 
abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I rec- 
ommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully 
for reasonable wages. 

And I further declare and m^ke known, that such persons of 
suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the 
United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, 
and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. 

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, 
warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke 


the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of 
Almighty God. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the 
seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the city of Washington, this first day of January, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of 
the Independence of the United States of America the eighty- 

L. s. 
By the President : 


Secretary of State. 



[Frank Arctas Haskcll was born at Tunbridge, Vermont, on July 13, 1828. He 
graduated at Dartmouth College in 1854, and went to Madison, Wisconsin, to prac- 
tice law. On the outbreak of the War, he received a commission as First Lieutenant 
of Company I, of the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served as Adjutant 
of his regiment until April 14, 1862, when he became aide-de-camp to General John 
Gibbon, commander of the Iron Brigade. This was his rank in the battle of Gettys- 
burg. On Feb. 9, 1864, Haskell was appointed Colonel of the Thirty-sixth Wisconsin; 
^nd on June 3, of the same year, he fell when leading a charge at the battle of Cold 
Harbor, one of the most distinguished soldiers of the Army of the Potomac. 

This account of Gettysburg was written by Haskell to his brother, shortly after the 
battle, and was not intended for publication. This fact ought to be borne in mind in 
connection with some severe reflections cast by the author upon certain officers and 
soldiers of the Union army. The present text follows the unabridged reprint of the 
Wisconsin Historical Commission; and the notes on Haskell's estimates of numbers 
.and losses have been supplied by Colonel Thomas L. Livermorc, the well-known 
authority on this subject.] 

THE great battle of Gettysburg is now an event of the past. 
The composition and strength of the armies, their leaders, 
the strategy, the tactics, the result, of that field are to-day by 
the side of those of Waterloo matters of history. A few days ago 
these things were otherwise. This great event did not so "cast its 
shadow before," as to moderate the hot sunshine that streamed upon 
our preceding march, or to relieve our minds of all apprehension of 
the result of the second great Rebel invasion of the soil North of the 

No, not many days since, at times we were filled with fears and 
forebodings. The people of the country, I suppose, shared the 
anxieties of the army, somewhat in common with us, but they could 
not have felt them as keenly as we did. We were upon the imme- 
diate theatre of events, as they occurred from day to day, and were of 
them. We were the army whose province it should be to meet this 
invasion and repel it; on us was the immediate responsibility for 
results, most momentous for good or ill, as yet in the future. And so 
in addition to the solicitude of all good patriots, we felt that our own 



honor as men and as an army, as well as the safety of the Capitol and 
the country, were at stake. 

And what if that invasion should be successful, and in the coming 
battle, the Army of the Potomac should be overpowered? Would it 
not be? When our army was much larger than at present had 
rested all winter and, nearly perfect in all its departments and 
arrangements, was the most splendid army this continent ever saw, 
only a part of the Rebel force, which it now had to contend with, 
had defeated it its leader, rather at Chancellor sville! Now the 
Rebel had his whole force assembled, he was flushed with recent 
victory, was arrogant in his career of unopposed invasion, at a 
favorable season of the year. His daring plans, made by no unskilled 
head, to transfer the war from his own to his enemies' ground, were 
being successful. He had gone a day's march from his front before 
Hooker moved, or was aware of his departure. Then, I believe, the 
army in general, both officers and men, had no confidence in Hooker, 
in either his honesty or ability. 

Did they not charge him, personally, with the defeat at Chancei- 
lorsville? Were they not still burning with indignation against him 
for that disgrace? And now, again under his leadership, they were 
marching against the enemy! And they knew of nothing, short of 
the providence of God, that could, or would, remove him. For many 
reasons, during the marches prior to the battle, we were anxious, and 
at times heavy at heart. 

But the Army of the Potomac was no band of school girls. They 
were not the men likely to be crushed or utterly discouraged by any 
new circumstances in which they might find themselves placed. 
They had lost some battles, they had gained some. They knew what 
defeat was, and what was victory. But here is the greatest praise 
that I can bestow upon them, or upon any army: With the elation 
of victory, or the depression of defeat, amidst the hardest toils of 
the campaign, under unwelcome leadership, at all times, and under 
all circumstances, they were a reliable army still. The Army of the 
Potomac would do as it was told, always. 

Well clothed, and well fed there never could be any ground for 
complaint on these heads but a mighty work was before them. 
Onward they moved night and day were blended over many a 


weary mile, through dust, and through mud, in the broiling sunshine, 
in the flooding rain, over steeps, through defiles, across rivers, over 
last year's battle fields, where the skeletons of our dead brethren, by 
hundreds, lay bare and bleaching, weary, without sleep for days, tor- 
mented with the newspapers, and their rumors, that the enemy was 
in Philadelphia, in Baltimore, in all places where he was not, yet 
these men could still be relied upon, I believe, when the day of 
conflict should come. "Haec olim meminisse juvabit." We did not 
then know this. I mention them now, that you may see that in those 
times we had several matters to think about, and to do, that were 
not as pleasant as sleeping upon a bank of violets in the shade. 

In moving from near Falmouth, Va., the army was formed in 
several columns, and took several roads. The Second Corps, the rear 
of the whole, was the last to move, and left Falmouth at daybreak, 
on the I5th of June, and pursued its march through Aquia, Dum- 
fries, Wolf Run Shoales, Centerville, Gainesville, Thoroughfare 
Gapthis last we left on the 25th, marching back to Haymarket, 
where we had a skirmish with the cavalry and horse artillery of the 
enemy Gum Spring, crossing the Potomac at Edward's Ferry, 
thence through Poolesville, Frederick, Liberty, and Union Town. 
We marched from near Frederick to Union Town, a distance of 
thirty-two miles, from eight o'clock A. M. to nine P. M., on the 28th, 
and I think this is the longest march, accomplished in so short a time, 
by a corps during the war. On the 28th, while we were near this 
latter place, we breathed a full breath of joy, and of hope. The Provi- 
dence of God had been with us we ought not to have doubted it 
General Meade commanded the Army of the Potomac. 

Not a favorable time, one would be apt to suppose, to change the 
General of a large army, on the eve of battle, the result of which 
might be to destroy the Government and country! But it should 
have been done long before. At all events, any change could not 
have been for the worse, and the Administration, therefore, hazarded 
little, in making it now. From this moment my own mind was 
easy concerning results. I now felt that we had a clear-headed, honest 
soldier, to command the army, who would do his best always that 
there would be no repetition of Chancellorsville. Meade was not as 
much known in the Army as many of the other corps commanders, 


but the officers who knew, all thought highly of him, a man of great 
modesty, with none of those qualities which are noisy and assuming, 
and hankering for cheap newspaper fame, not at all of the "gallant" 
Sickles stamp. I happened to know much of General Meade he and 
General Gibbon had always been very intimate, and I had seen much 
of him I think my own notions concerning General Meade at this 
time, were shared quite generally by the army; at all events, all who 
knew him shared them. 

By this time, by reports that were not mere rumors, we began to 
hear frequently of the enemy, and of his proximity. His cavalry was 
all about us, making little raids here and there, capturing now and 
then a few of our wagons, and stealing a good many horses, but 
doing us really the least amount possible of harm, for we were not 
by these means impeded at all, and his cavalry gave no information 
at all to Lee, that he could rely upon, of the movements of the Army 
of the Potomac. The Infantry of the enemy was at this time in the 
neighborhood of Hagerstown, Chambersburg, and some had been 
at Gettysburg, possibly were there now. Gettysburg was a point of 
strategic importance, a great many roads, some ten or twelve at 
least concentrating there, so the army could easily converge to, or, 
should a further march be necessary, diverge from this point. General 
Meade, therefore, resolved to try to seize Gettysburg, and accordingly 
gave the necessary orders for the concentration of his different col- 
umns there. Under the new auspices the army brightened, and 
moved on with a more elastic step towards the yet undefined field 
of conflict. 

The ist Corps, General Reynolds, already having the advance, was 
ordered to push forward rapidly, and take and hold the town, if he 
could. The rest of the Army would assemble to his support. Buford's 
Cavalry co-operated with this corps, and on the morning of the ist 
of July found the enemy near Gettysburg and to the West, and 
promptly engaged him. The First Corps having bivouacked the 
night before, South of the town, came up rapidly to Buford's support, 
and immediately a sharp battle was opened with the advance of the 
enemy. The First Division (Gen. Wadsworth) was the first of the 
infantry to become engaged, but the other two, commanded respec- 
tively by Generals Robinson and Doubleday, were close at hand, 


and forming the line of battle to the West and North-west of the 
town, at a mean distance of about a mile away, the battle continued 
for some hours, with various success, which was on the whole with 
us until near noon. At this time a lull occurred, which was occupied, 
by both sides, in supervising and re-establishing the hastily formed 
lines of the morning. New Divisions of the enemy were constantly 
arriving and taking up positions, for this purpose marching in upon 
the various roads that terminate at the town, from the West and 
North. The position of the First Corps was then becoming perilous 
in the extreme, but it was improved a little before noon by the arrival 
upon the field of two Divisions of the Eleventh Corps (Gen. How- 
ard), these Divisions commanded respectively by Generals Schurz 
and Barlow, who by order posted their commands to the right of the 
First Corps, with their right retired, forming an angle with the line 
of the First Corps. Between three and four o'clock in the afternoon 
the enemy, now in overwhelming force, resumed the batde, with 
spirit. The portton of the Eleventh Corps making but feeble opposi- 
tion to the advancing enemy, soon began to fall back. 

Back in disorganized masses they fled into the town, hotly pur- 
sued, and in lanes, in barns, in yards and cellars, throwing away 
their arms, they sought to hide like rabbits, and were there captured, 
unresisting, by hundreds. 

The First Corps, deprived of this support, if support it could be 
called, outflanked upon either hand, and engaged in front, was 
compelled to yield the field. Making its last stand upon what is 
called "Seminary Ridge," not far from the town, it fell back in con- 
siderable confusion, through the South-west part of the town, making 
brave resistance, however, but with considerable loss. The enemy 
did not see fit to follow, or to attempt to, further than the town, 
and so the fight of the ist of July closed here. I suppose our losses 
during the day would exceed four thousand, of whom a large number 
were prisoners. Such usually is, the kind of loss sustained by the 
Eleventh Corps. You will remember that the old "Iron Brigade" is 
in the First Corps, and consequently shared this fight, and I hear 
their conduct praised on all hands. 

In the 2nd Wis., Col. Fairchild lost his left arm; Lieut. Col. Stevens 
was mortally wounded, and Major Mansfield was wounded; Lieut. 


Col. Callis, of the 7th Wis., and Lieut. Col. Dudley, of the ipth Ind., 
were badly, dangerously, wounded, the latter by the loss of his right 
leg above the knee. 

I saw "John Burns" the only citizen of Gettysburg who fought in 
the battle, and I asked him what troops he fought with. He said: 
"O, I pitched in with them Wisconsin fellers." I asked what sort of 
men they were, and he answered: "They fit terribly. The Rebs 
couldn't make anything of them fellers." 

And so the brave compliment the brave. This man was touched 
by three bullets from the enemy, but not seriously wounded. 

But the loss of the enemy to-day was severe also, probably in killed 
and wounded, as heavy as our own, but not so great in prisoners. 

Of these latter, the "Iron Brigade" captured almost an entire Mis- 
sissippi Brigade, however. 

Of the events so far, of the ist of July, I do not speak from personal 
knowledge. I shall now tell my introduction to these events. 

At eleven o'clock A. M., on that day, the Second Corps was halted 
at Taneytown, which is thirteen miles from Gettysburg, South, and 
there awaiting orders, the men were allowed to make coffee and rest. 
At between one and two o'clock in the afternoon, a message was 
brought to Gen. Gibbon, requiring his immediate presence at the 
headquarters of Gen. Hancock, who commanded the Corps. I went 
with Gen. Gibbon, and we rode at a rapid gallop, to Gen. Hancock. 

At Gen. Hancock's headquarters the following was learned: The 
First Corps had met the enemy at Gettysburg, and had possession 
of the town. Gen. Reynolds was badly, it was feared mortally, 
wounded; the fight of the First Corps still continued. By Gen. 
Meade's order, Gen. Hancock was to hurry forward and take com- 
mand upon the field, of all troops there, or which should arrive there. 
The Eleventh Corps was near Gettysburg when the messenger who 
told of the fight left there, and the Third Corps was marching up, 
by order, on the Emmetsburg Road Gen. Gibbon he was not the 
ranking officer of the Second Corps after Hancock was ordered to 
assume the command of the Second Corps. 

All this was sudden, and for that reason at least, exciting; but 
there were other elements in this information, that aroused our pro- 
foundest interest. The great battle that we had so anxiously looked 


for during so many days, had at length opened, and it was a relief, 
in some sense, to have these accidents of time and place established. 
What would be the result? Might not the enemy fall upon and 
destroy the First Corps before succor could arrive ? 

Gen. Hancock, with his personal staff, at about two o'clock P. M., 
galloped off towards Gettysburg; Gen. Gibbon took his place in 
command of the Corps, appointing me his acting Assistant Adjutant 
General. The Second Corps took arms at once, and moved rapidly 
towards the field. It was not long before we began to hear the dull 
booming of the guns, and as we advanced, from many an eminence 
or opening among the trees, we could look out upon the white battery 
smoke, puffing up from the distant field of blood, and drifting up to 
the clouds. At these sights and sounds, the men looked more serious 
than before and were more silent, but they marched faster, and 
straggled less. At about five o'clock P. M., as we were riding along at 
the head of the column, we met an ambulance, accompanied by two 
or three mounted officers we knew them to be staff officers of Gen. 
Reynolds their faces told plainly enough what load the vehicle car- 
ried it was the dead body of Gen. Reynolds. Very early in the 
action, while seeing personally to the formation of his lines under 
fire, he was shot through the head by a musket or rifle bullet, and 
killed almost instantly. His death at this time affected us much, for 
he was one of the soldier Generals of the army, a man whose soul 
was in his country's work, which he did with a soldier's high honor 
and fidelity. 

I remember seeing him often at the first battle of Fredericksburg 
he then commanded the First Corps and while Meade's and Gib- 
bon's Divisions were assaulting the enemy's works, he was the very 
beau ideal of the gallant general. Mounted upon a superb black 
horse, with his head thrown back and his great black eyes flashing 
fire, he was every where upon the field, seeing all things and giving 
commands in person. He died as many a friend, and many a foe to 
the country have died in this war.' 

Just as the dusk of evening fell, from Gen. Meade, the Second 
Corps had orders to halt, where the head of the column then was, 
and to go into position for the night. The Second Division (Gib- 
bon's) was accordingly put in position, upon the left of the (Taney- 


town) road, its left near the South-eastern base of "Round Top" of 
which mountain more anon and the right near the road; the Third 
Division was posted upon the right of the road, abreast of the Second, 
and the first Division in the rear of these two all facing towards 

Arms were stacked, and the men lay down to sleep, alas! many 
of them their last but the great final sleep upon the earth. 

Late in the afternoon as we came near the field, from some slightly 
wounded men we met, and occasional stragglers from the scene of 
operations in front, we got many rumors, and much disjointed in- 
formation of battle, of lakes of blood, of rout and panic and unde- 
scribable disaster, from all of which the narrators were just fortunate 
enough to have barely escaped, the sole survivors. These stragglers 
are always terrible liars! 

About nine o'clock in the evening, while I was yet engaged in 
showing the troops their positions, I met Gen. Hancock, then on his 
way from the front, to Gen. Meade, who was back toward Taney- 
town; and he, for the purpose of having me advise Gen. Gibbon, for 
his information, gave me quite a detailed account of the situation of 
matters at Gettysburg, and of what had transpired subsequently to 
his arrival. 

He had arrived and assumed command there, just when the troops 
of the First and Eleventh Corps, after their repulse, were coming 
in confusion through the town. Hancock is just the man for such 
an emergency as this. Upon horseback I think he was the most 
magnificent looking General in the whole Army of the Potomac at 
that time. With a large, well shaped person, always dressed with 
elegance, even upon that field of confusion, he would look as if he 
was "monarch of all he surveyed," and few of his subjects would dare 
to question his right to command, or do aught else but to obey. His 
quick eye, in a flash, saw what was to be done, and his voice and 
his royal right hand at once commenced to do it. Gen. Howard had 
put one of his Divisions Steinwehr with some batteries, in posi- 
tion, upon a commanding eminence, at the "Cemetery," which, as a 
reserve, had not participated in the fight of the day, and this Division 
was now of course steady. Around this Division the fugitives were 
stopped, and the shattered Brigades and Regiments, as they returned, 


were formed upon either flank, and faced toward the enemy again. 
A show of order at least, speedily came from chaos the rout was at 
an end the First and Eleventh Corps were in line of battle again 
not very systematically formed perhaps in a splendid position, and 
in a condition to offer resistance, should the enemy be willing to try 
them. These formations were all accomplished long before night. 
Then some considerable portion of the Third Corps Gen. Sickles 
-came up by the Enimetsburg road, and was formed to the left of 
die Taneytown road, on an extension of the line that I have men- 
tioned; and all the Twelfth Corps Gen. Slocum arriving before 
night, the Divisions were put in position, to the right of the troops 
.already there, to the East of the Baltimore Pike, The enemy was in 
town, and behind it, and to the East and West, and appeared to be in 
strong force, and was jubilant over his day's success. Such was the 
posture of affairs as evening came on of the first of July. Gen. Han- 
<x>ck was hopeful, and in the best of spirits; and from him I also 
learned that fche reason for halting the Second Corps in its present 
position, was that it was not then known where, in the coming fight, 
the line of battle would be formed, up near the town, where the 
troops then were, or further back towards Taneytown. He would 
give his views upon this subject to Gen. Meade, which were in favor 
of the line near the town the one that was subsequently adopted 
and Gen. Meade would determine. 

The night before a great pitched battle would not ordinarily, I 
suppose, be a time for much sleep for Generals and their staff officers. 
We needed it enough, but there was work to be done. This war 
makes strange confusion of night and day I I did not sleep at all 
that night. It would, perhaps, be expected, on the eve of such great 
events, that one should have some peculiar sort of feeling, something 
.extraordinary, some great arousing and excitement of the sensibili- 
ties and faculties, commensurate with the event itself; this certainly 
would be very poetical and pretty, but so far as I was concerned, 
.and I think I can speak for the army in this matter, there was nothing 
of the kind. Men who had volunteered to fight the battles of the 
country, had met the enemy in many battles, and had been constantly 
!K ore them, as had the Army of the Potomac, were too old soldiers 
and long ago too well had weighed chances and probabilities, to be 


so disturbed now. No, I believe, the army slept soundly that night, 
and well, and I am glad the men did, for they needed it. 

At midnight Gen. Meade and staff rode by Gen. Gibbon's Head 
Quarters, on their way to the field; and in conversation with Gen. 
Gibbon, Gen. Meade announced that he had decided to assemble the 
whole army before Gettysburg, and offer the enemy battle there* 
The Second Corps would move at the earliest daylight, to take up 
its position. 

At three o'clock, A. M., of the second of July, the sleepy soldiers 
of the Corps were aroused; before six the Corps was up to the field, 
and halted temporarily by the side of the Taneytown road, upon 
which it had marched, while some movements of the other troops 
were being made, to enable it to take position in the order of battle. 
The morning was thick and sultry, the sky overcast with low, vapory 
clouds. As we approached all was astir upon the crests near the 
Cemetery, and the work of preparation was speedily going on. Men 
looked like giants there in the mist, and the guns of the frowning 
batteries so big, that it was a relief to know that they were our 

Without a topographical map, some description of the ground and 
location is necessary to a clear understanding of the battle. With the 
sketch I have rudely drawn, without scale or compass, I hope you 
may understand my description. The line of battle as it was estab- 
lished, on the evening of the first, and morning of the second of July 
was in the form of the letter "U," the troops facing outwards. And 
the "Cemetery," which is at the point of the sharpest curvature of the 
line, being due South of the town of Gettysburg. "Round Top," the 
extreme left of the line, is a small, woody, rocky elevation, a very 
little West of South of the town, and nearly two miles from it. 

The sides of this are in places very steep, and its rocky summit 
is almost inaccessible. A short distance North of this is a smaller 
elevation called "Little Round Top." On the very top of "Little 
Round Top," we had heavy rifled guns in position during the battle* 
Near the right of the line is a small, woody eminence, named "Gulp's 
Hill." Three roads come up to the town from the South, which near 
the town are quite straight, and at the town the external ones unite, 
forming an angle of about sixty, or more degrees. Of these, the 


farthest to the East is the "Baltimore Pike," which passes by the 
East entrance to the Cemetery; the farthest to the West is the "Em- 
metsburg road," which is wholly outside of our line of battle, but near 
the Cemetery, is within a hundred yards of it; the "Taneytown road" 
is between these, running nearly due North and South, by the Eastern 
base of "Round Top," by the Western side of the Cemetery, and 
uniting with the Emmetsburg road between the Cemetery and the 
town. High ground near the Cemetery, is named "Cemetery Ridge." 

The Eleventh Corps Gen. Howard was posted at the Cemetery, 
some of its batteries and troops, actually among the graves and 
monuments, which they used for shelter from the enemy's fire, its 
left resting upon the Taneytown road, extending thence to the East, 
crossing the Baltimore Pike, and thence bending backwards towards 
the South-east; on the right of the Eleventh came the First Corps, 
now, since the death of Gen. Reynolds, commanded by Gen. Newton, 
formed in a line curving still more towards the South. The troops 
of these two Corps, were re-formed on the morning of the second, 
in order that each might be by itself, and to correct some things not 
done well during the hasty formations here the day before. 

To the right of the First Corps, and on an extension of the same 
line, along the crest and down the South-eastern slope of Gulp's Hill, 
was posted the Twelfth Corps Gen. Slocum its right, which was 
the extreme right of the line of the army, resting near a small stream 
called "Rock Run." No changes, that I am aware of, occurred in the 
formation of this Corps, on the morning of the Second. The Second 
Corps, after the brief halt that I have mentioned, moved up and took 
position, its right resting upon the Taneytown road, at the left of 
the Eleventh Corps, and extending the line thence, nearly a half 
mile, almost due South, towards Round Top, with its Divisions in 
the following order, from right to left: The Third, Gen. Alex Hays; 
the Second (Gibbon's), Gen. Harrow, (temporarily); the First, Gen. 
Caldwell. The formation was in line by brigade in column, the 
brigade being in column by regiment, with forty paces interval 
between regimental lines, the Second and Third Divisions having 
each one, and the First Division, two brigades there were four bri- 
gades in the First similarly formed, in reserve, one hundred and 
fifty paces in the rear of the line of their respective Divisions. That 


is, the line of the Corps, exclusive of its reserves, was the length of 
six regiments, deployed, 1 and the intervals between them, some of 
which were left wide for the posting of the batteries, and consisted 
of four common deployed lines, each of two ranks of men, and a 
little more than one-third over in reserve. 

The five batteries, in all twenty-eight guns, were posted as follows: 
Woodruff's regular, six twelve-pound Napoleon's, brass, between the 
two brigades, in line of the Third Division; Arnold's "A" first R. L, 
six three-inch Parrotts, rifled, and Cushing's Regular, four three- 
inch Ordnance, rifled, between the Third and Second Division; Haz- 
ard's, (commanded during the battle by Lieut. Brown,) "B" first 
R. L, and Rhorty's N. G. each, six twelve-pound Napoleon's, brass, 
between the Second and First Division. 

I have been thus specific in the description of the posting and 
formation of the Second Corps, because they were works that I 
assisted to perform; and also that the other Corps were similarly 
posted, with reference to the strength of the lines, and the inter- 
mixing of infantry and artillery. From this, you may get a notion 
of the whole. 

The Third Corps Gen. Sickles the remainder of it arriving 
upon the field this morning, was posted upon the left of the Second 
extending the line still in the direction of Round Top, with its left 
resting near "Little Round Top." The left of the Third Corps was 
the extreme left of the line of battle, until changes occurred, which 
will be mentioned in the proper place. The Fifth Corps Gen. Sykes 
coming on the Baltimore Pike about this time, was massed there, 
near the line of battle, and held in reserve until some time in the 
afternoon, when it changed position, as I shall describe. 

I cannot give a detailed account of the cavalry, for I saw but little 
of it. It was posted near the wings, and watched the roads and the 
movements of the enemy upon the flanks of the enemy, but further 
than this participated but little in the battle. Some of it was also 
used for guarding the trains, which were far to the rear. The artil- 
lery reserve, which consisted of a good many batteries, were posted 
between the Baltimore Pike and the Taneytown road, on very nearly 

1 As the Second and Third Divisions had three brigades each, it follows that two 
brigades from each of the three divisions were in the front line. T. L. L. 


the center of a direct line passing through the extremities of the 
wings. Thus it could be readily sent to any part of the line. The 
Sixth Corps Gen. Sedgwick did not arrive upon the field until 
some time in the afternoon, but it was now not very far away, and 
was coming up rapidly on the Baltimore Pike. No fears were enter- 
tained that "Uncle John," as his men call Gen. Sedgwick, would 
not be in the right place at the right time. 

These dispositions were all made early, I think before eight o'clock 
in the morning. Skirmishers were posted well out all around the 
line, and all put in readiness for battle. The enemy did not yet 
demonstrate himself. With a look at the ground now, I think you 
may understand the movements of the battle. From Round Top, by 
the line of battle, round to the extreme right, I suppose is about 
three miles. From this same eminence to the Cemetery, extends a 
long ridge or hill more resembling a great wave than a hill, how- 
ever with its crest, which was the line of battle, quite direct, between 
the points mentioned. To the West of this, that is towards the enemy, 
the ground falls away by a very gradual descent, across the Emmets- 
burg road, and then rises again, forming another ridge, nearly paral- 
lel to the first, but inferior in altitude, and something over a thou- 
sand yards away. A belt of woods extends partly along this second 
ridge, and partly farther to the West, at distances of from one thou- 
sand to thirteen hundred yards away from our line. Between these 
ridges, and along their slopes, that is, in front of the Second and 
Third Corps, the ground is cultivated, and is covered with fields of 
wheat, now nearly ripe, with grass and pastures, with some peach 
orchards, with fields of waving corn, and some farm houses, and 
their out buildings along the Emmetsburg road. There are very few 
places within the limits mentioned where troops and guns could 
move concealed. There are some oaks of considerable growth, along 
the position of the right of the Second Corps, a group of small trees, 
sassafras and oak, in front of the right of the Second Division of this 
Corps also; and considerable wobds immediately in front of the left 
of the Third Corps, and also to the West of, and near Round Top. 
At the Cemetery, where is Cemetery Ridge, to which the line of the 
Eleventh Corps conforms, is the highest point in our line, except 
Round Top. From this the ground falls quite abruptly to the town, 


the nearest point of which is some five hundred yards away from 
the line, and is cultivated, and checkered with stone fences. 

The same is the character of the ground occupied by, and in front 
of the left of the First Corps, which is also on a part of Cemetery 
Ridge. The right of this Corps, and the whole of the Twelfth, are 
along Gulp's Hill, and in woods, and the ground is very rocky, and 
in places in front precipitous a most admirable position for defense 
from an attack in front, where, on account of the woods, no artillery 
could be used with effect by the enemy. Then these last three men- 
tioned Corps, had, by taking rails, by appropriating stone fences, by 
felling trees, and digging the earth, during the night of the first of 
July, made for themselves excellent breast works, which were a very 
good thing indeed. The position of the First and Twelfth Corps 
was admirably strong, therefore. Within the line of battle is an 
irregular basin, somewhat woody and rocky in places, but present- 
ing few obstacles to the moving of troops and guns, from place to 
place along the lines, and also affording the advantage that all such 
movements, by reason of the surrounding crests, were out of view of 
the enemy. On the whole this was an admirable position to fight 
a defensive battle, good enough, I thought, when I saw it first, and 
better I believe than could be found elsewhere in a circle of many 
miles. Evils, sometimes at least, are blessings in disguise, for the 
repulse of our forces, and the death of Reynolds, on the first of July, 
with the opportune arrival of Hancock to arrest the tide of fugitives 
and fix it on these heights, gave us this position perhaps the posi- 
tion gave us the victory. On arriving upon the field, Gen. Meade 
established his headquarters at a shabby little farm house on the left 
of the Taneytown road, the house nearest the line, and a little more 
than five hundred yards in the rear of what became the center of 
the position of the Second Corps, a point where he could communi- 
cate readily and rapidly with all parts of the army. The advantages 
of the position, briefly, were these: the flanks were quite well pro- 
tected by the natural defences there, Round Top up the left, and a 
rocky, steep, untraversable ground up the right. Our line was more 
elevated than that of the enemy, consequently our artillery had a 
greater range and power than theirs. On account of the convexity 
of our line, every part of the line could be reinforced by troops having 


to move a shorter distance than if the line were straight; further, for 
the same reason, the line of the enemy must be concave, and, conse- 
quently, longer, and with an equal force, thinner, and so weaker 
than ours. Upon those parts of our line which were wooded, neither 
we nor the enemy could use artillery; but they were so strong by 
nature, aided by art, as to be readily defended by a small, against a 
very large, body of infantry. When the line was open, it had the 
advantage of having open country in front, consequently, the enemy 
here could not surprise, as we were on a crest, which besides the 
other advantages that I have mentioned, had this: the enemy must 
advance to the attack up an ascent, and must therefore move slower, 
and be, before coming upon us, longer under our fire, as well as 
more exhausted. These, and some other things, rendered our position 
admirable for a defensive battle. 

So, before a great battle, was ranged the Army of the Potomac. 
The day wore on, the weather still sultry, and the sky overcast, with 
a mizzling effort at rain. When the audience has all assembled, time 
seems long until the curtain rises; so to-day. "Will there be a battle 
to-day?" "Shall we attack the Rebel?" "Will he attack us?" These 
and similar questions, later in the morning, were thought or asked 
a million times. 

Meanwhile, on our part, all was put in the last state of readiness 
for battle. Surgeons were busy riding about selecting eligible places 
for Hospitals, and hunting streams, and springs, and wells. Ambu- 
lances, and ambulance men, were brought up near the lines, and 
stretchers gotten ready for use. Who of us could tell but that he 
would be the first to need them ? The Provost Guards were busy 
driving up all stragglers, and causing them to join their regiments. 
Ammunition wagons were driven to suitable places, and pack mules 
bearing boxes of cartridges; and the commands were informed 
where they might be found. Officers were sent to see that the men 
had each his hundred rounds q ammunition. Generals and their 
Staffs were riding here and there among their commands to see that 
all was right. A staff officer, or an orderly might be seen galloping 
furiously in the transmission of some order or message. All, all was 
ready and yet the sound of no gun had disturbed the air or 
ear to-day. 


And so the men stacked their arms in long bristling rows they 
stood along the crests and were at ease. Some men of the Second 
and Third Corps pulled down the rail fences near and piled them 
up for breastworks in their front. Some loitered, some went to sleep 
upon the ground, some, a single man, carrying twenty canteens 
slung over his shoulder, went for water. Some made them a fire 
and boiled a dipper of coffee. Some with knees cocked up, enjoyed 
the soldier's peculiar solace, a pipe of tobacco. Some were mirthful 
and chatty, and some were serious and silent. Leaving them thus I 
suppose of all arms and grades there were about a hundred thousand 
of them somewhere about that field each to pass the hour accord- 
ing to his duty or his humor, let us look to the enemy. 

Here let me state, that according to the best information that I 
could get, I think a fair estimate of the Rebel force engaged in this 
battle would be a little upwards of a hundred thousand men of all 
arms. Of course we can't now know, but there are reasonable data 
for this estimate. At all events there was no great disparity of num- 
bers in the two opposing armies. We thought the enemy to be 
somewhat more numerous than we, and he probably was. 2 But if 
ninety-five men should fight with a hundred and five, the latter 
would not always be victors and slight numerical differences are 
of much less consequence in great bodies of men. 

Skillful generalship and good fighting are the jewels of war. These 
concurring are difficult to overcome; and these, not numbers, must 
determine this battle. 

During all the morning and of the night, too the skirmishers 
of the enemy had been confronting those of the Eleventh, First and 
Twelfth Corps. At the time of the fight of the First, he was seen in 
heavy force North of the town he was believed to be now in the 
same neighborhood, in full force. But from the woody character 
of the country, and thereby the careful concealment of troops, which 

2 The returns of the Union army for June 30 gave 89,238 infantry and artillery, 
and 14,973 cavalry "present for duty." If there is deducted 5,520 in three brigades 
of the Sixth Corps and 2,337 in detachments, which, although available, were not 
opposed to the enemy, and the usual per cent of non-combatants, 88,289 remains for 
the number engaged. 

The number engaged on the Confederate side in the same manner, is estimated at 
75,000, from the returns of May 31, July 20 and 31. See Livermore's "Numbers and 
Losses," pp. 69, 102, 103. T. L. L. 


the Rebel is always sure to effect, during the early part of the morn- 
ing almost nothing was actually seen by us of the invaders of the 
North. About nine o'clock in the morning, I should think, our 
glasses began to reveal them at the West and North-west of the town, 
a mile and a half away from our lines. They were moving towards 
our left, but the woods of Seminary Ridge so concealed them that 
we could not make out much of their movements. About this time 
some rifled guns in the Cemetery, at the left of the Eleventh Corps, 
opened fire almost the first shots of any kind this morning and 
when it was found they were firing at a Rebel line of skirmishers 
merely, that were advancing upon the left of that, and the right of 
the Second Corps, the officer in charge of the guns was ordered to 
cease firing, and was rebuked for having fired at all. These skirm- 
ishers soon engaged those at the right of the Second Corps, who 
stood their ground and were reinforced to make the line entirely 
secure. The Rebel skirmish line kept extending further and further 
to their right Howard our left. They would dash up close upon ours 
and sometimes drive them back a short distance, in turn to be re- 
pulsed themselves and so they continued to do until their right was 
opposite the extreme left of the Third Corps. By these means they 
had ascertained the position and extent of our lines but their own 
masses were still out of view. From the time that the firing com- 
menced, as I have mentioned, it was kept up, among the skirmishers, 
until quite noon, often briskly; but with no definite results further 
than those mentioned, and with no considerable show of infantry 
on the part of the enemy to support. There was a farm house and 
outbuildings in front of the Third Division of the Second Corps at 
which the skirmishers of the enemy had made a dash, and dislodged 
ours posted there, and from there their sharp shooters began to annoy 
our line of skirmishers and even the main line, with their long range 
rifles. I was up to the line, and a bullet from one of the rascals hid 
there, hissed by my cheek so close that I felt the movement of the air 
distinctly. And so I was not at all displeased when I saw one of our 
regiments go down and attack and capture the house and buildings 
and several prisoners, after a spirited little fight, and, by Gen. Hays' 
order, burn the buildings to the ground. About noon the Signal 
Corps, from the top of Little Round Top, with their powerful 


glasses, and the cavalry at the extreme left, began to report the 
enemy in heavy force, making disposition of battle, to the West of 
Round Top, and opposite to the left of the Third Corps. Some few 
prisoners had been captured, some deserters from the enemy had 
come in, and from all sources, by this time, we had much important 
and reliable information of the enemy of his disposition and ap- 
parent purposes. The Rebel infantry consisted of three Army Corps, 
each consisting of three Divisions, Longstreet, Ewell the same 
whose leg Gibbon's shell knocked off at Gainesville on the 28th of 
August last year and A. P. Hill, each in the Rebel service having 
the rank of Lieutenant General, were the commanders of these 
Corps. Longstreet's Division commanders were Hood, McLaws 
and Pickett; E well's were Rhodes, Early and Johnson, and Hill's 
were Pender, Heth and Anderson. Stewart and Fitzhugh Lee 
commanded Divisions of the Rebel cavalry. The rank of these Divi- 
sions commands, I believe, was that of Major General. The Rebels 
had about as much artillery as we did; but we never have thought 
much of this arm in the hands of our adversaries. They have courage 
enough, but not the skill to handle it well. They generally fire far 
too high, and the ammunition is usually of a very inferior quality. 
And, of late, we have begun to despise the enemies' cavalry too. It 
used to have enterprise and dash, but in the late cavalry contests 
ours have always been victor; and so now we think about all this 
chivalry is fit for is to steal a few of our mules occasionally, and their 
negro drivers. This army of the rebel infantry, however, is good 
to deny this is useless. I never had any desire to and if one should 
count up, it would possibly be found that they have gained more 
victories over us, than we have over them, and they will now, doubt- 
less, fight well, even desperately. And it is not horses or cannon 
that will determine the result of this confronting of the two armies, 
but the men with the muskets must do it the infantry must do the 
sharp work. So we watched all this posting of forces as closely as 
possible, for it was a matter of vital interest to us, and all information 
relating to it was hurried to the commander of the army. The Rebel 
line of battle was concave, bending around our own, with the extrem- 
ities of the wings opposite to, or a little outside of ours. Longstreet's 
Corps was upon their right; Hill's in the center. These two Rebel 


Corps occupied the second or inferior ridge to the West of our posi- 
tion, as I have mentioned, with Hill's left bending towards, and 
resting near the town, and Swell's was upon their left, his troops 
being in, and to the East of the town. This last Corps confronted 
our Twelfth, First, and the right of the Eleventh Corps. When I 
have said that ours was a good defensive position, this is equivalent 
to saying that that of the enemy was not a good offensive one; for 
these are relative terms, and cannot be both predicated of the respec- 
tive positions of the two armies at the same time. The reasons that 
this was not a good offensive position, are the same already stated in 
favor of ours for defense. Excepting, occasionally, for a brief time, 
during some movement of troops, as when advancing to attack, their 
men and guns were kept constantly and carefully, by woods and 
inequalities of ground, out of our view. 

Noon is past, one o'clock is past, and, save the skirmishing that 
I have mentioned, and an occasional shot from our guns, at some- 
thing or other/ the nature of which the ones who fired it were 
ignorant, there was no fight yet. Our arms were still stacked, and 
the men were at ease. As I looked upon those interminable rows of 
muskets along the crests, and saw how cool and good spirited the 
men were, who were lounging about on the ground among them, 
I could not, and did not, have any fears as to the result of the 
battle. The storm was near, and we all knew it well enough by this 
time, which was to rain death upon these crests and down their 
slopes, and yet the men who could not, and would not escape it, 
were as calm and cheerful, generally, as if nothing unusual were 
about to happen. You see, these men were veterans, and had been 
in such places so often that they were accustomed to them. But I was 
well pleased with the tone of the men to-day I could almost see the 
foreshadowing of victory upon their faces, I thought. And I thought, 
too, as I had seen the mighty preparations go on to completion for 
this great conflict the marshaling of these two hundred thousand 
men and the guns of the hosts, that now but a narrow valley 
divided, that to have been in such a battle, and to survive on the 
side of the victors, would be glorious. Oh, the world is most 
unchristian yet! 

Somewhat after one o'clock P. M. the skirmish firing had nearly 


ceased now a movement of the Third Corps occurred, which I 
shall describe. I cannot conjecture the reason of this movement. 
From the position of the Third Corps, as I have mentioned, to the 
second ridge West, the distance is about a thousand yards, and there 
the Emmetsburg road runs near the crest of the ridge. Gen. Sickles 
commenced to advance his whole Corps, from the general line, 
straight to the front, with a view to occupy this second ridge, along, 
and near the road. What his purpose could have been is past con- 
jecture. It was not ordered by Gen. Meade, as I heard him say, 
and he disapproved of it as soon as it was made known to him. 
Generals Hancock and Gibbon, as they saw the move in progress, 
criticized its propriety sharply, as I know, and foretold quite ac- 
curately what would be the result. I suppose the truth probably is 
that General Sickles supposed he was doing for the best; but he 
was neither born nor bred a soldier. But one can scarcely tell what 
may have been the motives of such a man a politician, and some 
other things, exclusive of the Barton Key affair a man after show 
and notoriety, and newspaper fame, and the adulation of the mob! 
O, there is a grave responsibility on those in whose hands are the 
lives of ten thousand men; and on those who put stars upon men's 
shoulders, too! Bah! I kindle when I see some things that I have to 
see. But this move of the Third Corps was an important one it 
developed the battle the results of the move to the Corps itself 
we shall see. O, if this Corps had kept its strong position upon the 
crest, and supported by the rest of the army, had waited for the 
attack of the enemy! 

It was magnificent to see those ten or twelve thousand men 3 
they were good men with their batteries, and some squadrons of 
cavalry upon the left flank, all in battle order, in several lines, with 
flags streaming, sweep steadily down the slope, across the valley, 
and up the next ascent, toward their destined position! From our 
position we could see it all. In advance Sickles pushed forward 
his heavy line of skirmishers, who drove back those of the enemy, 
across the Emmetsburg road, and thus cleared the way for the 
main body. The Third Corps now became the absorbing object 

8 The returns give 12,630 "present for duty" in the Third Corps. See 43 War 
Records, 151. T. L. L. 


of interest of all eyes. The Second Corps took arms, and the ist 
Division of this Corps was ordered to be in readiness to support 
the Third Corps, should circumstances render support necessary. 
As the Third Corps was the extreme left of our line, as it advanced, 
if the enemy was assembling to the West of Round Top with a 
view to turn our left, as we had heard, there would be nothing 
between the left flank of the Corps and the enemy, and the enemy 
would be square upon its flank by the time it had attained the road. 
So when this advance line came near the Emmetsburg road, and 
we saw the squadrons of cavalry mentioned, come dashing back 
from their position as flankers, and the smoke of some guns, and 
we heard the reports away to Sickles' left, anxiety became an element 
in our interest in these movements. The enemy opened slowly at 
first, and from long range; but he was square upon Sickles* left 
flank. General Caldwell was ordered at once to put his Division 
the ist of the Second Corps, as mentioned in motion, and to take 
post in the wopds at the left slope of Round Top, in such a man- 
ner as to resist the enemy should he attempt to come around 
Sickles' left and gain his rear. The Division moved as ordered, 
and disappeared from view in the woods, towards the point in- 
dicated at between two and three o'clock P. M., and the reserve 
brigade the First, Col. Heath temporarily commanding of the 
Second Division, was therefore moved up and occupied the position 
vacated by the Third Division. About the same time the Fifth 
Corps could be seen marching by the flank from its position on 
the Baltimore Pike, and in the opening of the woods heading for 
the same locality where the ist Division of the Second Corps had 
gone. The Sixth Corps had now come up and was halted upon the 
Baltimore Pike. So the plot thickened. As the enemy opened upon 
Sickles with his batteries, some five or six in all, I suppose, firing 
slowly, Sickles with as many replied, and with much more spirit. 
The artillery fire became quite animated, soon; but the enemy was 
forced to withdraw his guns farther and farther away, and ours 
advanced upon him. It was not long before the cannonade ceased 
altogether, the enemy having retired out of range, and Sickles, 
having temporarily halted his command, pending this, moved for- 
ward again to the position he desired, or nearly that. It was now 


about five o'clock, and we shall soon see what Sickles gained by his 
move. First we hear more artillery firing upon Sickles' left the 
enemy seems to be opening again, and as we watch the Rebel bat- 
teries seem to be advancing there. The cannonade is soon opened 
again, and with great spirit upon both sides. The enemy's bat- 
teries press those of Sickles, and pound the shot upon them, and 
this time they in turn begin to retire to position nearer the in- 
fantry. The enemy seems to be fearfully in earnest this time. And 
what is more ominous than the thunder or the shot of his ad- 
vancing guns, this time, in the intervals between his batteries, far 
to Sickles' left, appear the long lines and the columns of the Rebel 
infantry, now unmistakably moving out to the attack. The posi- 
tion of the Third Corps becomes at once one of great peril, and it 
is probable that its commander by this time began to realize his 
true situation. All was astir now on our crest. Generals and their 
Staffs were galloping hither and thither the men were all in their 
places, and you might have heard the rattle of ten thousand ram- 
rods as they drove home and "thugged" upon the little globes and 
cones of lead. As the enemy was advancing upon Sickles' flank, he 
commenced a change, or at least a partial one, of front, by swing- 
ing back his left and throwing forward his right, in order that his 
lines might be parallel to those of his adversary, his batteries mean- 
time doing what they could to check the enemy's advance; but this 
movement was not completely executed before new Rebel batteries 
opened upon Sickles' right flank his former front and in the same 
quarter appeared the Rebel infantry also. Now came the dread- 
ful battle picture, of which we for a time could be but spectators. 
Upon the front and right flank of Sickles came sweeping the in- 
fantry of Longstreet and Hill. Hitherto there had been skirmish- 
ing and artillery practice now the battle began; for amid the 
heavier smoke and larger tongues of flame of the batteries, now be- 
gan to appear the countless flashes, and the long fiery sheets of the 
muskets, and the rattle of the volleys, mingled with the thunder 
of the guns. We see the long gray lines come sweeping down upon 
Sickles* front, and mix with the battle smoke; now the same colors 
emerge from the bushes and orchards upon his right, and envelope 
his flank in the confusion of the conflict. 


O, the din and the roar, and these thirty thousand Rebel wolf 
cries! What a hell is there down that valley! 

These ten or twelve thousand men of the Third Corps fight well, 
but it soon becomes apparent that they must be swept from the 
field, or perish there where they are doing so well, so thick and 
overwhelming a storm of Rebel fire involves them. It was fearful 
to see, but these men, such as ever escape, must come from that 
conflict as best they can. To move down and support them with 
other troops is out of the question, for this would be to do as Sickles 
did, to relinquish a good position, and advance to a bad one. There 
is no other alternative the Third Corps must fight itself out of its 
position of destruction! What was it ever put there for? 

In the meantime some other dispositions must be made to meet 
the enemy, in the event that Sickles is overpowered. With this 
Corps out of the way, the enemy would be in a position to advance 
upon the line of the Second Corps, not in a line parallel with its 
front, but they would come obliquely from the left. To meet this 
contingency the left of the Second Division of the Second Corps is 
thrown back slightly, and two Regiments, the i5th Mass., Col. 
Ward, and the 82nd N. Y., Lieut. Col. Horton, are advanced down 
to the Emmetsburg road, to a favorable position nearer us than 
the fight has yet come, and some new batteries from the artillery 
reserve are posted upon the crest near the left of the Second Corps. 
This was all Gen. Gibbon could do. Other dispositions were made 
or were now being made upon the field, which I shall mention 
presently. The enemy is still giving Sickles fierce battle or rather 
the Third Corps, for Sickles has been borne from the field minus 
one of his legs, and Gen. Birney now commands and we of the 
Second Corps, a thousand yards away, with our guns and men are, 
and must be, still idle spectators of the fight. 

The Rebel, as anticipated, tries to gain the left of the Third Corps, 
and for this purpose is now moving into the woods at the west of 
Round Top. We knew what he would find there. No sooner had 
the enemy gotten a considerable force into the woods mentioned, in 
the attempted execution of his purpose, than the roar of the con- 
flict was heard there also. The Fifth Corps and the First Division 
of the Second were there at the right time, and promptly engaged 


him; and there, too, the battle soon became general and obstinate. 
Now the roar of battle has become twice the volume that it was 
before, and its range extends over more than twice the space. The 
Third Corps has been pressed back considerably, and the wounded 
are streaming to the rear by hundreds, but still the battle there goes 
on, with no considerable abatement on our part. The field of actual 
conflict extends now from a point to the front of the left of the 
Second Corps, away down to the front of Round Top, and the 
fight rages with the greatest fury. The fire of artillery and infantry 
and the yells of the Rebels fill the air with a mixture of hideous 
sounds. When the First Division of the Second Corps first engaged 
the enemy, for a time it was pressed back somewhat, but under the 
able and judicious management of Gen. Caldwell, and the support 
of the Fifth Corps, it speedily ceased to retrograde, and stood its 
ground; and then there followed a time, after the Fifth Corps be- 
came well engaged, when from appearances we hoped the troops 
already engaged would be able to check entirely, or repulse the 
further assault of the enemy. But fresh bodies of the Rebels con- 
tinued to advance out of the woods to the front of the position of 
the Third Corps, and to swell the numbers of the assailants of this 
already hard pressed command. The men there begin to show signs 
of exhaustion their ammunition must be nearly expended they 
have now been fighting more than an hour, and against greatly 
superior numbers. From the sound of the firing at the extreme left, 
and the place where the smoke rises above the tree tops there, we 
know that the Fifth Corps is still steady, and holding its own there; 
and as we see the Sixth Corps now marching and near at hand to 
that point, we have no fears for the left we have more apparent 
reason to fear for ourselves. 

The Third Corps is being overpowered here and there its lines 
begin to break the men begin to pour back to the rear in confu- 
sion the enemy are close upon them and among them organiza- 
tion is lost to a great degree guns and caissons are abandoned and 
in the hands of the enemy the Third Corps, after a heroic but un- 
fortunate fight, is being literally swept from the field. That Corps 
gone, what is there between the Second Corps, and these yelling 
masses of the enemy ? Do you not think that by this time we began to 


feel a personal interest in this fight? We did indeed. We had been 
mere observersthe time was at hand when we must be actors in 
this drama* 

Up to this hour Gen. Gibbon had been in command of the Second 
Corps, since yesterday, but Gen. Hancock, relieved of his duties 
elsewhere, now assumed command. Five or six hundred yards away 
the Third Corps was making its last opposition; and the enemy 
was hotly pressing his advantages there, and throwing in fresh 
troops whose line extended still more along our front, when Gen- 
erals Hancock and Gibbon rode along the lines of their troops; and 
at once cheer after cheer not Rebel, mongrel cries, but genuine 
cheers rang out all along the line, above the roar of battle, for 
"Hancock" and "Gibbon," and "our Generals." These were good. 
Had you heard their voices, you would have known these men would 
fight. Just at this time we saw another thing that made us glad: 
we looked to our rear, and there, and all up the hillside which was 
the rear of the Third Corps before it went forward, were rapidly 
advancing large bodies of men from the extreme right of our line 
of battle, coming to the support of the part now so hotly pressed. 
There was the whole Twelfth Corps, with the exception of about 
one brigade, that is, the larger portion of the Divisions of Gens. 
Williams and Geary; the Third Division of the First Corps, Gen. 
Doubleday; and some other brigades from the same Corps and 
some of them were moving at the double quick. They formed lines 
of battle at the foot of the Taneytown road, and when the broken 
fragments of the Third Corps were swarming by them towards the 
rear, without halting or wavering they came sweeping up, and with 
glorious old cheers, under fire, took their places on the crest in line 
of battle to the left of the Second Corps. Now Sickles' blunder is 
repaired. Now, Rebel chief, hurl forward your howling lines and 
columns! Yell out your loudest and your last, for many of your 
best will never yell, or wave the spurious flag again! 

The battle still rages all along die left, where the Fifth Corps is, 
and the West slope of Round Top is the scene of the conflict; and 
nearer us there was but short abatement, as the last of the Third 
Corps retired from the field, for the enemy is flushed with his sue- 


cess. He has been throwing forward brigade after brigade, and Divi- 
sion after Division, since the battle began, and his advancing line 
now extends almost as far to our right as the right of the Second 
Division of the Second Corps. The whole slope in our front is full 
of them; and in various formation, in line, in column, and in 
masses which are neither, with yells and thick volleys, they are 
rushing towards our crest. The Third Corps is out of the way. 
Now we are in for it. The battery men are ready by their loaded 
guns. All along the crest is ready. Now Arnold and Brown now 
Gushing, and Woodruff, and Rhorty! you three shall survive to-day! 
They drew the cords that moved the friction primers, and gun 
after gun, along the batteries, in rapid succession, leaped where it 
stood and bellowed its canister upon the enemy. The enemy still 
advance. The infantry open fire first the two advance regiments, 
the I5th Mass, and the 8id N. Y. then here and there through- 
out the length of the long line, at the points where the enemy comes 
nearest, and soon the whole crest, artillery and infantry, is one con- 
tinued sheet of fire. From Round Top to near the Cemetery 
stretches an uninterrupted field of conflict. There is a great army 
upon each side, now hotly engaged. 

To see the fight, while it went on in the valley below us, was ter- 
rible, what must it be now, when we are in it, and it is all around 
us, in all its fury? 

All senses for the time are dead but the one of sight. The roar of 
the discharges and the yells of the enemy all pass unheeded; but the 
impassioned soul is all eyes, and sees all things, that the smoke does 
not hide. How madly the battery men are driving home the double 
charges of canister in those broad-mouthed Napoleons, whose fire 
seems almost to reach the enemy. How rapidly these long, blue* 
coated lines of infantry deliver their file fire down the slope. 

But there is no faltering the men stand nobly to their work. 
Men are dropping dead or wounded on all sides, by scores and by 
hundreds, and the poor mutilated creatures, some with an arm 
dangling, some with a leg broken by a bullet, are limping and 
crawling towards the rear. They make no sound of complaint or 
pain, but are as silent as if dumb and mute. A sublime heroism seems 


to pervade all, and the intuition that to lose that crest, all is lost. 
How our officers, in the work of cheering on and directing the men, 
are falling. 

We have heard that Gen. Zook and Col. Cross, in the First Divi- 
sion of our Corps, are mortally wounded they both commanded 
brigades, now near us Col. Ward of the i5th Mass. he lost a leg at 
Balls Bluff and Lieut. Col. Horton of the 8id N. Y., are mortally 
struck while trying to hold their commands, which are being forced 
back; Col. Revere, 20th Mass., grandson of old Paul Revere, of the 
Revolution, is killed, Lieut. Col. Max Thoman, commanding 59th 
N. Y., is mortally wounded, and a host of others that I cannot name. 
These were of Gibbon's Division. Lieut. Brown is wounded among 
his guns his position is a hundred yards in advance of the main 
line the enemy is upon his battery, and he escapes, but leaves three 
of his six guns in the hands of the enemy. 

The fire all along our crest is terrific, and it is a wonder how 
anything humar> could have stood before it, and yet the madness of 
the enemy drove them on, clear up to the muzzle of the guns, clear 
up to the lines of our infantry but the lines stood right in their 
places. Gen. Hancock and his Aides rode up to Gibbon's Division, 
under the smoke. Gen. Gibbon, with myself, was near, and there 
was a flag dimly visible, coming towards us from the direction of 
the enemy. "Here, what are these men falling back for?" said Han- 
cock. The flag was no more than fifty yards away, but it was the 
head of a Rebel column, which at once opened fire with a volley. 
Lieut. Miller, Gen. Hancock's Aide, fell, twice struck, but the General 
was unharmed, and he told the ist Minn., which was near, to drive 
these people away. That splendid regiment, the less than three hun- 
dred that are left out of fifteen hundred that it has had, swings 
around upon the enemy, gives them a volley in their faces, and ad- 
vances upon them with the bayonet. The Rebels fled in confusion, 
but Col. Colville, Lieut. Col. Adams and Major Downie, are all 
badly, dangerously wounded, and many of the other officers and men 
will never fight again. More than two-thirds fell. 

Such fighting as this cannot last long. It is now near sundown, 
and the battle has gone on wonderfully long already. But if you 


will stop to notice it, a change has occurred. The Rebel cry has 
ceased, and the men of the Union begin to shout there, under the 
smoke, and their lines to advance. See, the Rebels are breaking! 
They are in confusion in all our front! The wave has rolled upon 
the rock, and the rock has smashed it. Let us shout, too! 

First upon their extreme left the Rebels broke, where they had 
almost pierced our lines; thence the repulse extended rapidly to their 
right. They hung longest about Round Top, where the Fifth Corps 
punished them, but in a space of time incredibly short, after they 
first gave signs of weakness, the whole force of the Rebel assault 
along the whole line, in spite of waving red flags, and yells, and the 
entreaties of officers, and the pride of the chivalry, fled like chaff 
before the whirlwind, back down the slope, over the valley, across the 
Emmetsburg road, shattered, without organization in utter confu- 
sion, fugitive into the woods, and victory was with the arms of the 
Republic. The great Rebel assault, the greatest ever made upon 
this continent, has been made and signally repulsed, and upon this 
part of the field the fight of to-day is now soon over. Pursuit was 
made as rapidly and as far as practicable, but owing to the proximity 
of night, and the long distance which would have to be gone over 
before any of the enemy, where they would be likely to halt, could 
be overtaken, further success was not attainable to-day. Where the 
Rebel rout first commenced, a large number of prisoners, some 
thousands at least, were captured; almost all their dead, and such 
of their wounded as could not themselves get to the rear, were 
within our lines; several of their flags were gathered up, and a good 
many thousand muskets, some nine or ten guns and some caissons 
lost by the Third Corps, and the three of Brown's battery these 
last were in Rebel hands but a few minutes were all safe now with 
us, the enemy having had no time to take them off. 

Not less, I estimate, than twenty thousand men were killed or 
wounded in this fight. Our own losses must have been nearly half 
this number, about four thousand in the Third Corps, fully two 
thousand in the Second, and I think two thousand in the Fifth, and 
I think the losses of the First, Twelfth, and a little more than a 
brigade of the Sixth all of that Corps which was actually engaged 


would reach nearly two thousand more. 4 Of course it will never 
be possible to know the numbers upon either side who fell in this 
particular part of the general battle, but from the position of the 
enemy and his numbers, and the appearance of the field, his loss 
must have been as heavy, or as I think much heavier than our own, 
and my estimates are probably short of the actual loss. 

The fight done, the sudden revulsions of sense and feeling follow, 
which more or less characterize all similar occasions. How strange 
the stillness seems! The whole air roared with the conflict but a 
moment since now all is silent; not a gunshot sound is heard, and 
the silence comes distinctly, almost painfully to the senses. And the 
sun purples the clouds in the West, and the sultry evening steals 
on as if there had been no battle, and the furious shout and the can- 
non's roar had never shaken the earth. And how look these fields? 
We may see them before dark the ripening grain, the luxuriant 
corn, the orchards, the grassy meadows, and in their midst the 
rural cottage of brick or wood. They were beautiful this morning. 
They are desolate now trampled by the countless feet of the com- 
batants, plowed and scored by the shot and shell, the orchards 
splintered, the fences prostrate, the harvest trodden in the mud. 
And more dreadful than the sight of all this, thickly strewn over 
all their length and breadth, are the habiliments of the soldiers, the 
knapsacks cast aside in the stress of the fight, or after the fatal lead 
had struck; haversacks, yawning with the rations the owner will 
never call for; canteens of cedar of the Rebel men of Jackson, and 
of cloth-covered tin of the men of the Union; blankets and trowsers, 
and coats, and caps, and some are blue and some are gray; muskets 
and ramrods, and bayonets, and swords, and scabbards and belts, 
some bent and cut by the shot or shell; broken wheels, exploded 
caissons, and limber-boxes, and dismantled guns, and all these are 
sprinkled with blood; horses, some dead, a mangled heap of 
carnage, some alive, with a leg shot clear off, or other frightful 
wounds, appealing to you with almost more than brute gaze as 

*The returns give the total loss in the battle as follows: 1,275 * n First Division 
of Second Corps; 4,211 in Third Corps; 2,187 in Fifth Corps; 242 in Sixth Corps. 
Substantially all these losses were suffered July 2. See 43 War Records. The losses 
in the First Corps and Second Division of Second Corps on July 2 cannot be separated 
from those of July i and 3 in the War Records. T. L. L. 


you pass; and last, but not least numerous, many thousands of men 
and there was no rebellion here now the men of South Carolina 
were quiet by the side of those of Massachusetts, some composed, 
with upturned faces, sleeping the last sleep, some mutilated and 
frightful, some wretched, fallen, bathed in blood, survivors still and 
unwilling witnesses of the rage of Gettysburg. 

And yet with all this before them, as darkness came on, and the 
dispositions were made and the outposts thrown out for the night, 
the Army of the Potomac was quite mad with joy. No more light- 
hearted guests ever graced a banquet, than were these men as they 
boiled their coffee and munched their soldiers' supper to-night. Is 
it strange? 

Otherwise they would not have been soldiers. And such sights 
as all these, will be certain to be seen as long as war lasts in the 
world, and when war is done, then is the end and the days of the 
millenium are at hand. 

The ambulances commenced their work as soon as the battle 
opened the twinkling lanterns through the night, and the sun 
of to-morrow saw them still with the same work unfinished. 

I wish that I could write, that with the coming on of darkness, 
ended the fight of to-day, but such was not the case. The armies 
have fought enough to-day and ought to sleep to-night, one would 
think, but not so thought the Rebel. Let us see what he gained by 
his opinion. When the troops, including those of the Twelfth Corps 
had been withdrawn from the extreme right of our line, in the 
afternoon, to support the left, as I have mentioned, thereby, of 
course, weakening that part of the line so left, the Rebel Ewell, 
either becoming aware of the fact, or because he thought he could 
carry our right at all events, late in the afternoon commenced an 
assault upon that part of our line. His battle had been going on 
there simultaneously with the fight on the left, but not with any 
great degree of obstinacy on his part. He had advanced his men 
through the woods, and in front of the formidable position lately 
held by the Twelfth Corps cautiously, and to his surprise, I have 
no doubt, found our strong defenses upon the extreme right, entirely 
abandoned. These he at once took possession of, and simultaneously 
made an attack upon our right flank, which was now near the 


summit of Gulp's hill, and upon the front of that part of the line. 
That small portion of the Twelfth Corps, which had been left there, 
and some of the Eleventh Corps, sent to their assistance, did what 
they could to check the Rebels; but the Eleventh Corps men were 
getting shot at there, and they did not want to stay. Matters began 
to have a bad look in that part of the field. A portion of the First 
Division of the First Corps, was sent there for support the 6th 
Wisconsin, among others, and this improved matters but still, as 
we had but a small number of men there, all told, the enemy with 
their great numbers, were having too much prospect of success, and 
it seems that, probably emboldened by this, Ewell had resolved upon 
a night attack upon that wing of the army, and was making his 
dispositions accordingly. The enemy had not at sundown, actually 
carried any part of our rifle pits there, save the ones abandoned, but 
he was getting troops assembled upon our flank, and altogether, 
with our weakness there, at that time, matters did not look as we 
would like to have them. Such was then the posture of affairs, 
when the fight upon our left, that I have described, was done. 
Under such circumstances it is not strange that the Twelfth Corps, 
as soon as its work was done upon the left, was quickly ordered 
back to the right, to its old position. There it arrived in good time; 
not soon enough, of course, to avoid the mortification of finding the 
enemy in the possession of a part of the works the men had labored 
so hard to construct, but in ample time before dark to put the men 
well in the pits we already held, and to take up a strong defensible 
position, at right angles to, and in rear of the main line, in order 
to resist these flanking dispositions of the enemy. The army was 
secure again. The men in the works would be steady against all 
attacks in front, as long as they knew that their flank was safe. 
Until between ten and eleven o'clock at night, the woods upon the 
right, resounded with the discharges of musketry. Shortly after or 
about dark, the enemy made a dash upon the right of the Eleventh 
Corps. They crept up the windings of a valley, not in a very heavy 
force, but from the peculiar mode in which this Corps does outpost 
duty, quite unperceived in the dark until they were close upon the 
main line. It is said, I do not know it to be true, that they spiked 
two guns of one of the Eleventh Corps 9 batteries, and that the 


battery men had to drive them off with their sabres and rammers, 
and that there was some fearful "Dutch" swearing on the occasion, 
"donner wetter' among other similar impious oaths, having been 
freely used. The enemy here were finally repulsed by the assistance 
of Col. Correll's brigade of the Third Division of the Second Corps, 
and the io6th Pa., from the Second Division of the same Corps, 
was by Gen. Howard's request sent there to do outpost duty. It 
seems to have been a matter of utter madness and folly on the part 
of the enemy to have continued their night attack, as they did upon 
the right. Our men were securely covered by ample works and even 
in most places, a log was placed a few inches above the top of the 
main breastwork, as a protection to the heads of the men as they 
thrust out their pieces beneath it to fire. Yet in the darkness, the 
enemy would rush up, clambering over rocks and among trees, 
even to the front of the works, but only to leave their riddled bodies 
there upon the ground or to be swiftly repulsed headlong into the 
woods again. In the darkness the enemy would climb trees close 
to the works, and endeavor to shoot our men by the light of the 
flashes. When discovered, a thousand bullets would whistle after 
them in the dark, and some would hit, and then the Rebel would 
make up his mind to come down. 

Our loss was light, almost nothing in this fight the next morn- 
ing the enemy's dead were thick all along this part of the line. 
Near eleven o'clock the enemy, wearied with his disastrous work, 
desisted, and thereafter until morning, not a shot was heard in all 
the armies. 

So much for the battle. There is another thing that I wish to 
mention, of the matters of the 2d of July. 

After evening came on, and from reports received, all was known 
to be going satisfactorily upon the right, Gen. Meade summoned 
his Corps Commanders to his Headquarters for consultation. A 
consultation is held upon matters of vast moment to the country, 
and that poor little farmhouse is honored with more distinguished 
guests than it ever had before, or than it will ever have again, 

Do you expect to see a degree of ceremony, and severe military 
aspect characterize this meeting, in accordance with strict military 


rules, and commensurate with the moment of the matters of their 
deliberation? Name it "Major General Meade, Commander of the 
Army of the Potomac, with his Corps Generals, holding a Council 
of War, upon the field of Gettysburg," and it would sound pretty 
well, and that was what it was; and you might make a picture of 
it and hang it up by the side of "Napoleon and his Marshals," and 
"Washington and his Generals," maybe, at some future time. But 
for the artist to draw his picture from, I will tell how this council 
appeared. Meade, Sedgwick, Slocum, Howard, Hancock, Sykes, 
Newton, Pleasanton commander of the cavalry and Gibbon, 
were the Generals present. Hancock, now that Sickles is wounded, 
has charge of the Third Corps, and Gibbon again has the Second. 
Meade is a tall, spare man, with full beard, which with his hair, 
originally brown, is quite thickly sprinkled with gray has a Roman- 
ish face, very large nose, and a white, large forehead, prominent 
and wide over the eyes, which are full and large, and quick in their 
movements, and he wears spectacles. His fibres are all of the long 
and sinewy kind. His habitual personal appearance is quite care- 
less, and it would be rather difficult to make him look well dressed. 
Sedgwick is quite a heavy man, short, thick-set and muscular, with 
florid complexion, dark, calm, straight-looking eyes, with full, 
heavyish features, which, with his eyes, have plenty of animation 
when he is aroused. He has a magnificent profile, well cut, with 
the nose and forehead forming almost a straight line, curly, short, 
chestnut hair and full beard, cut short, with a little gray in it. He 
dresses carelessly, but can look magnificently when he is well dressed. 
Like Meade, he looks and is, honest and modest. You might see at 
once, why his men, because they love him, call him "Uncle John," 
not to his face, of course, but among themselves. Slocum is small, 
rather spare, with black, straight hair and beard, which latter is 
unshaven and thin, large, full, quick, black eyes, white skin, sharp 
nose, wide cheek bones, and hollow cheeks and small chin. His 
movements are quick and angular, and he dresses with a sufficient 
degree of elegance. Howard is medium in size, has nothing marked 
about him, is the youngest of them all, I think has lost an arm in 
the war, has straight brown hair and beard, shaves his short upper 
lip, over which his nose slants down, dim blue eyes, and on the whole, 


appears a very pleasant, affable, well dressed little gentleman. Han- 
cock is the tallest and most shapely, and in many respects is the best 
looking officer of them all. His hair is very light brown, straight 
and moist, and always looks well, his beard is of the same color, of 
which he wears the moustache and a tuft upon the chin; complexion 
ruddy, features neither large nor small, but well cut, with full 
jaw and chin, compressed mouth, straight nose, full, deep blue eyes, 
and a very mobile, emotional countenance. He always dresses re- 
markably well, and his manner is dignified, gentlemanly and com- 
manding. I think if he were in citizens' clothes, and should give 
commands in the army to those who did not know him, he would 
be likely to be obeyed at once, and without any question as to his 
right to command. Sykes is a small, rather thin man, well dressed 
and gentlemanly, brown hair and beard, which he wears full, with a 
red, pinched, rough-looking skin, feeble blue eyes, long nose, with 
the general air of one who is weary and a little ill-natured. Newton 
is a well-sized, shapely, muscular, well dressed man, with brown 
hair, with a very ruddy, clean-shaved, full face, blue eyes, blunt, 
round features, walks very erect, curbs in his chin, and has some- 
what of that smart sort of swagger that people are apt to suppose 
characterizes soldiers. Pleasonton is quite a nice little dandy, with 
brown hair and beard, a straw hat with a little jockey rim, which 
he cocks upon one side of his head, with an unsteady eye, that looks 
slyly at you and then dodges. Gibbon, the youngest of them all, 
save Howard, is about the same size as Slocum, Howard, Sykes 
and Pleasonton, and there are none of these who will weigh one 
hundred and fifty pounds. He is compactly made, neither spare nor 
corpulent, with ruddy complexion, chestnut brown hair, with a 
clean-shaved face, except his moustache, which is decidedly reddish 
in color, medium-sized, well-shaped head, sharp, moderately-jutting 
brow, deep blue, calm eyes, sharp, slightly aquiline nose, compressed 
mouth, full jaws and chin, with an air of calm firmness in his 
manner. He always looks well dressed. I suppose Howard is about 
thirty-five and Meade about forty-five years of age; the rest are 
between these ages, but not many under forty. As they come to 
the council now, there is the appearance of fatigue about them, 
which is not customary, but is only due to the hard labors of the 


past few days. They all wear clothes of dark blue, some have top 
boots and some not, and except the two-starred straps upon the 
shoulders of all save Gibbon, who has but one star, there was scarce- 
ly a piece of regulation uniform about them all. They wore their 
swords, of various patterns, but no sashes, the Army hat, but with 
the crown pinched into all sorts of shapes and the rim slouched 
down and shorn of all its ornaments but the gilt band except Sykes 
who wore a blue cap, and Pleasonton with his straw hat with broad 
black band. Then the mean little room where they met, its only 
furniture consisted of a large, wide bed in one corner, a small pine 
table in the center, upon which was a wooden pail of water, with a 
tin cup for drinking, and a candle, stuck to the table by putting the 
end in tallow melted down from the wick, and five or six straight- 
backed rush-bottomed chairs. The Generals came in some sat, 
some kept walking or standing, two lounged upon the bed, some 
were constantly smoking cigars. And thus disposed, they deliber- 
ated whether the army should fall back from its present position to 
one in rear which it was said was stronger, should attack the enemy 
on the morrow, wherever he could be found, or should stand there 
upon the horse-shoe crest, still on the defensive, and await the further 
movements of the enemy. 

The latter proposition was unanimously agreed to. Their heads 
were sound. The Army of the Potomac would just halt right 
there, and allow the Rebel to come up and smash his head against 
it, to any reasonable extent he desired, as he had to-day. After some 
two hours the council dissolved, and the officers went their several 

Night, sultry and starless, droned on, and it was almost midnight 
that I found myself peering my way from the line of the Second 
Corps, back down to the General's Headquarters, which were an 
ambulance in the rear, in a little peach orchard. All was silent now 
but the sound of the ambulances, as they were bringing off the 
wounded, and you could hear them rattle here and there about the 
field, and see their lanterns. I am weary and sleepy, almost to such 
an extent as not to be able to sit on my horse. And my horse can 
hardly move the spur will not start him what can be the reason? 
I know that he has been touched by two or three bullets to-day, 


but not to wound or lame him to speak of. Then, in riding by a 
horse that is hitched, in the dark, I got kicked; had I not a very 
thick boot, the blow would have been likely to have broken my 
ankle it did break my temper as it was and, as if it would cure 
matters, I foolishly spurred my horse again. No use, he would but 
walk. I dismounted; I could not lead him along at all, so out of 
temper I rode at the slowest possible walk to the Headquarters, 
which I reached at last. Generals Hancock and Gibbon were asleep 
in the ambulance. With a light I found what was the matter with 
"Billy." A bullet had entered his chest just in front of my left leg, 
as I was mounted, and the blood was running down all his side 
and leg, and the air from his lungs came out of the bullet-hole. I 
begged his pardon mentally for my cruelty in spurring him, and 
should have done so in words if he could have understood me. Kind 
treatment as is due to the wounded he could understand and he 
had it. Poor Billy! He and I were first under fire together, and I 
rode him at the second Bull Run and the first and second Fredericks- 
burg, and at Antietam after brave "Joe" was killed; but I shall never 
mount him again Billy's battles are over. 

"George, make my bed here upon the ground by the side of this 
ambulance. Pull off my sabre and my boots that will do!" Was 
ever princely couch or softest down so soft as those rough blankets, 
there upon the unroofed sod? At midnight they received me for 
four hours delicious dreamless oblivion of weariness and of battle. 
So to me, ended the Second of July. 

At four o'clock on the morning of the Third, I was awakened 
by Gen. Gibbon's pulling me by the foot and saying: "Come, don't 
you hear that?" I sprang up to my feet. Where was I? A moment 
and my dead senses and memory were alive again, and the sound of 
brisk firing of musketry to the front and right of the Second Corps, 
and over at the extreme right of our line, where we heard it last 
in the night, brought all back to my memory. We surely were on the 
field of battle, and there were palpable evidences to my reason that 
to-day was to be another of blood. Oh! for a moment the thought 
of it was sickening to every sense and feeling! But the motion of 
my horse as I galloped over the crest a few minutes later, and the 
serene splendor of the morning now breaking through rifted clouds 


and spreading over the landscape soon reassured me. Come day of 
battle! Up Rebel hosts, and thunder with your arms! We are all 
ready to do and to die for the Republic! 

I found a sharp skirmish going on in front of the right of the 
Second Corps, between our outposts and those of the enemy, but 
save this and none of the enemy but his outposts were in sight all 
was quiet in that part of the field. On the extreme right of the line 
the sound of musketry was quite heavy; and this I learned was 
brought on by the attack of the Second Division, Twelfth Corps, 
Gen. Geary, upon the enemy in order to drive him out of our works 
which he had sneaked into yesterday, as I have mentioned. The 
attack was made at the earliest moment in the morning when it was 
light enough to discern objects to fire at. The enemy could not use 
the works, but was confronting Geary in woods, and had the cover 
of many rocks and trees, so the fight was an irregular one, now 
breaking out and swelling to a vigorous fight, now subsiding to a 
few scattering shot/;; and so it continued by turns until the morning 
was well advanced, when the enemy was finally wholly repulsed 
and driven from the pits, and the right of our line was again re- 
established in the place it first occupied. The heaviest losses the 
Twelfth Corps sustained in all the battle, occurred during this at- 
tack, and they were here quite severe. I heard Gen. Meade express 
dissatisfaction at Gen. Geary for making this attack, as a thing not 
ordered and not necessary, as the works of ours were of no intrinsic 
importance, and had not been captured from us by a fight, and 
Geary *s position was just as good as they, where he was during 
the night. And I heard Gen. Meade say that he sent an order to 
have the fight stopped; but I believe the order was not communicated 
to Geary until after the repulse of the enemy. Late in the forenoon 
the enemy again tried to carry our right by storm. We heard that 
old Rebel Ewell had sworn an oath that he would break our right. 
He had Stonewall Jackson's Corps, and possibly imagined himself 
another Stonewall, but he certainly tian fared after the right of our 
line and so up through the woods, and over the rocks, and up the 
steeps he sent his storming parties our men could see them now 
in the day time. But all the Rebel's efforts were fruitless, save in 
one thing, slaughter to his own men. These assaults were made 


with great spirit and determination, but as the enemy would come 
up, our men lying behind their secure defenses would just singe 
them with the blaze of their muskets, and riddle them, as a hail- 
storm, the tender blades of corn. The Rebel oath was not kept/ 
any more than his former one to support the Constitution of the 
United States. The Rebel loss was very heavy indeed, here, ours 
but trifling. I regret that I cannot give more of the details of this 
fighting upon the right it was so determined upon the part of the 
enemy, both last night and this morning so successful to us. About 
all that I actually saw of it during its progress, was the smoke, and 
I heard the discharges. My information is derived from officers who 
were personally in it. Some of our heavier artillery assisted our in- 
fantry in this by firing, with the piece elevated, far from the rear, 
over the heads of our men, at a distance from the enemy of two 
miles, I suppose. Of course, they could have done no great damage. 
It was nearly eleven o'clock that the battle in this part of the field 
subsided, not to be again renewed. All the morning we felt no ap- 
prehension for this part of the line, for we knew its strength, and 
that our troops engaged, the Twelfth Corps and the First Division, 
Wadsworth's, of the First, could be trusted. 

For the sake of telling one thing at a time, I have anticipated 
events somewhat, in writing of this fight upon the right. I shall now 
go back to the starting point, four o'clock this morning, and, as 
other events occurred during the day, second to none in the battle 
in importance, which I think I saw as much of as any man living, 
I will tell you something of them, and what I saw, and how the 
time moved on. The outpost skirmish that I have mentioned, soon 
subsided. I suppose it was the natural escape of the wrath which 
the men had, during the night, hoarded up against each other, and 
which, as soon as they could see in the morning, they could no 
longer contain, but must let it off through their musket barrels, 
at their adversaries- At the commencement of the war such firing 
would have awaked the whole army and roused it to its feet and 
to arms; not so now. The men upon the crest lay snoring in their 
blankets, even though some cf the enemy's bullets dropped among 
them, as if bullets were as harmless as the drops of dew around 
them. As the sun arose to-day, the clouds became broken, and we 


had once more glimpses of sky, and fits of sunshine a rarity, to 
cheer us. From the crest, save to the right of the Second Corps, no 
enemy, not even his outposts could be discovered, along all the 
position where he so thronged upon the Third Corps yesterday. 
All was silent there the wounded horses were limping about the 
field; the ravages of the conflict were still fearfully visible the 
scattered arms and the ground thickly dotted with the dead but no 
hostile foe. The men were roused early, in order that the morning 
meal might be out of the way in time for whatever should occur. 
Then ensued the hum of an army, not in ranks, chatting in low tones, 
and running about and jostling among each other, rolling and pack- 
ing their blankets and tents. They looked like an army of rag- 
gatherers, while shaking these very useful articles of the soldier's 
outfit, for you must know that rain and mud in conjunction have 
not had the effect to make them clean, and the wear and tear of 
service have not left them entirely whole. But one could not have 
told by the appearance of the men, that they were in battle yesterday, 
and were likely to be again to-day. They packed their knapsacks, 
boiled their coffee and munched their hard bread, just as usual just 
like old soldiers who know what campaigning is; and their talk 
is far more concerning their present employment some joke or 
drollery than concerning what they saw or did yesterday. 

As early as practicable the lines all along the left are revised and 
reformed, this having been rendered necessary by yesterday's battle, 
and also by what is anticipated to-day. 

It is the opinion of many of our Generals that the Rebel will not 
give us battle to-day that he had enough yesterday that he will 
be heading towards the Potomac at the earliest practicable moment, 
if he has not already done so; but the better, and controlling judg- 
ment is, that he will make another grand effort to pierce or turn 
our lines that he will either mass and attack the left again, as yes- 
terday, or direct his operations against the left of our center, the 
position of the Second Corps, ancl try to sever our line. I infer that 
Gen. Meade was of the opinion that the attack to-day would be 
upon the left this from the disposition he ordered, I know that 
Gen. Hancock anticipated the attack upon the center. 

The dispositions to-day upon the left are as follows: 


The Second and Third Divisions of the Second Corps are in the 
position of yesterday; then on the left come Doubleday's the Third 
Division and Col. Stannard's brigade of the First Corps; then Col- 
well's the First Division of the Second Corps; then the Third 
Corps, temporarily under the command of Hancock, since Sickles' 
wound. The Third Corps is upon the same ground in part, 
and on the identical line where it first formed yesterday morning, 
and where, had it stayed instead of moving out to the front, we 
should have many more men to-day, and should not have been upon 
the brink of disaster yesterday. On the left of the Third Corps is 
the Fifth Corps, with a short front and deep line; then comes the 
Sixth Corps, all but one brigade, which is sent over to the Twelfth. 
The Sixth, a splendid Corps, almost intact in the fight of yesterday, is 
the extreme left of our line, which terminates to the south of Round 
Top, and runs along its western base, in the woods, and thence to 
the Cemetery. This Corps is burning to pay off the old scores made 
on the 4th of May, there back of Fredericksburg. Note well the posi- 
tion of the Second and Third Divisions of the Second Corps it 
will become important. There are nearly six thousand men and 
officers in these two Divisions here upon the field the losses were 
quite heavy yesterday, some regiments are detached to other parts 
of the field so all told there are less than six thousand men now 
in the two Divisions, 5 who occupy a line of about a thousand yards. 
The most of the way along this line upon the crest was a stone 
fence, constructed of small rough stones, a good deal of the way 
badly pulled down, but the men had improved it and patched it 
with rails from the neighboring fences, and with earth, so as to 
render it in many places a very passable breastwork against musketry 
and flying fragments of shells. 

These works are so low as to compel the men to kneel or lie 
down generally to obtain cover. Near the right of the Second Divi- 
sion, and just by the little group of trees that I have mentioned 
there, this stone fence made a right angle, and extended thence to 
the front, about twenty or thirty yards, where with another less 
than a right angle it followed along the crest again. 

5 The returns of June 30 pave 7,546 "present for duty*' in these two divisions, but 
five of their twenty-six regiments were not in this part of the battle. See 43 War 
Records, 53 I76~7t 435. 457 462, 47* T. L. L. 


The lines were conformed to these breastworks and to the nature 
of the ground upon the crest, so as to occupy the most favorable 
places, to be covered, and still be able to deliver effective fire upon 
the enemy should he come there. In some places a second line 
was so posted as to be able to deliver its fire over the heads of the 
first line behind the works; but such formation was not practicable 
all of the way. But all the force of these two divisions was in line, 
in position, without reserves, and in such a manner that every man 
of them could have fired his piece at the same instant. The division 
flags, that of the Second Division, being a white trefoil upon a 
square blue field, and of the Third Division a blue trefoil upon 
a white rectangular field, waved behind the divisions at the points 
where the Generals of Division were supposed to be; the brigade 
flags, similar to these but with a triangular field, were behind the 
brigades; and the national flags of the regiments were in the lines 
of their regiments. To the left of the Second Division, and ad- 
vanced something over a hundred yards, were posted a part of 
Stannard's Brigade two regiments or more, behind a small bush- 
crowned crest that ran in a direction oblique to the general line. 
These were well covered by the crest, and wholly concealed by the 
bushes, so that an advancing enemy would be close upon them 
before they could be seen. Other troops of Doubleday's Division 
were strongly posted in rear of these in the general line. 

I could not help wishing all the morning that this line of the two 
divisions of the Second Corps was stronger; it was so far as numbers 
constitute strength, the weakest part of our whole line of battle. 
What if, I thought, the enemy should make an assault here to-day 
with two or three heavy lines a great overwhelming mass; would 
he not sweep through that thin six thousand ? 

But I was not General Meade, who alone had power to send 
other troops there; and he was satisfied with that part of the line 
as it was. He was early on horseback this morning, and rode along 
the whole line, looking to it himself, and with glass in hand sweep- 
ing the woods and fields in the direction of the enemy, to see if aught 
of him could be discovered. His manner was calm and serious, 
but earnest. There was no arrogance of hope, or timidity of fear 
discernible in his face; but you would have supposed he would do 


his duty conscientiously and well, and would be willing to abide 
the result. You would have seen this in his face. He was well 
pleased with the left of the line to-day, it was so strong with good 
troops. He had no apprehension for the right where the fight now 
was going on, on account of the admirable position of our forces 
there. He was not of the opinion that the enemy would attack the 
center, our artillery had such sweep there, and this was not the 
favorite point of attack with the Rebel. Besides, should he attack 
the center, the General thought he could reinforce it in good season. 
I heard Gen. Meade speak of these matters to Hancock and some 
others, at about nine o'clock in the morning, while they were up 
by the line, near the Second Corps. 

No further changes of importance except those mentioned, were 
made in the disposition of the troops this morning, except to re- 
place some of the batteries that were disabled yesterday by others 
from the artillery reserve, and to brace up the lines well with guns 
wherever there were eligible places, from the same source. The 
line is all in good order again, and we are ready for general battle. 

Save the operations upon the right, the enemy so far as we could 
see, was very quiet all the morning. Occasionally the outposts would 
fire a little, and then cease. Movements would be discovered which 
would indicate the attempt on the part of the enemy to post a bat- 
tery. Our Parrotts would send a few shells to the spot, then silence 
would follow. 

At one of these times a painful accident happened to us, this 
morning. First Lieut. Henry Ropes, 2oth Mass., in Gen. Gibbon's 
Division, a most estimable gentleman and officer, intelligent, edu- 
cated, refined, one of the noble souls that came to the country's de- 
fense, while lying at his post with his regiment, in front of one of 
the Batteries, which fired over the Infantry, was instantly killed 
by a badly made shell, which, or some portion of it, fell but a few 
yards in front of the muzzle of the gun. The same accident killed 
or wounded several others. The loss of Ropes would have pained 
us at any time, and in any manner; in this manner his death was 
doubly painful. 

Between ten and eleven o'clock, over in a peach orchard in front 
of the position of Sickles yesterday, some little show of the enemy's 


infantry was discovered; a few shells scattered the gray-backs; they 
again appeared, and it becoming apparent that they were only 
posting a skirmish line, no further molestation was offered them. 
A little after this some of the enemy's flags could be discerned over 
near the same quarter, above the top and behind a small crest of 
a ridge. There seemed to be two or three of them possibly they 
were guidons and they moved too fast to be carried on foot. 
Possibly, we thought, the enemy is posting some batteries there. 
We knew in about two hours from this time better about the 
matter. Eleven o'clock came. The noise of battle has ceased upon 
the right; not a sound of a gun or musket can be heard on all the 
field; the sky is bright, with only the white fleecy clouds floating 
over from the West. The July sun streams down its fire upon the 
bright iron of the muskets in stacks upon the crest, and the dazzling 
brass of the Napoleons. The army lolls and longs for the shade, of 
which some get a hand's breadth, from a shelter tent stuck upon 
a ramrod. The silence and sultriness of a July noon are supreme. 
Now it so happened, that just about this time of day a very original 
and interesting thought occurred to Gen. Gibbon and several of his 
staff; that it would be a very good thing, and a very good time, to 
have something to eat. When I announce to you that I had not 
tasted a mouthful of food since yesterday noon, and that all I had 
had to drink since that time, but the most miserable muddy warm 
water, was a little drink of whisky that Major Biddle, General 
Meade's aide-de-camp, gave me last evening, and a cup of strong 
coffee that I gulped down as I was first mounting this morning, and 
further, that, save the four or five hours in the night, there was 
scarcely a moment since that time but that I was in the saddle, you 
may have some notion of the reason of my assent to this extraor- 
dinary proposition. Nor will I mention the doubts I had, as to the 
feasibility of the execution of this very novel proposal, except to say 
that I knew this morning that our larder was low; not to put too 
fine a point upon it, that we had nothing but some potatoes and 
sugar and coffee in the world. And I may as well say here, that 
of such, in scant proportion, would have been our repast, had it 
not been for the riding of miles by two persons, one an officer, to 
procure supplies; and they only succeeded in getting some few 


chickens, some butter, and one huge loaf of bread, which last was 
bought of a soldier, because he had grown faint in carrying it, and 
was afterwards rescued with much difficulty and after a long race 
from a four-footed hog, which had got hold of and had actually 
eaten a part of it. "There is a divinity," etc. Suffice it, this very 
ingenious and unheard of contemplated proceeding, first announced 
by the General, was accepted and at once undertaken by his staff. 
Of the absolute quality of what we had to eat, I could not pretend 
to judge, but I think an unprejudiced person would have said of 
the bread that it was good; so of the potatoes before they were 
boiled. Of the chickens he would have questioned their age, but 
they were large and in good running order. The toast was good 
and the butter. There were those who, when coffee was given them, 
called for tea, and vice versa, and were so ungracious as to suggest 
that the water that was used in both might have come from near 
a barn. Of course it did not. We all came down to the little peach 
orchard where we had stayed last night, and, wonderful to see 
and tell, ever mindful of our needs, had it all ready, had our faith- 
ful John. There was an enormous pan of stewed chickens, and the 
potatoes, and toast, all hot, and the bread and the butter, and tea 
and coffee. There was satisfaction derived from just naming them 
all over. We called John an angel, and he snickered and said he 
"knowed" we'd come. General Hancock is of course invited to 
partake, and without delay, we commence operations. Stools are 
not very numerous, two, in all, and these the two Generals have by 
common consent. Our table was the top of a mess chest. By this 
the Generals sat. The rest of us sat upon the ground, cross-legged, 
like the picture of a smoking Turk, and held our plates upon our 
laps. How delicious was the stewed chicken. I had a cucumber 
pickle in my saddle bags, the last of a lunch left there two or three 
days ago, which George brought, and I had half of it. We were 
just well at it when General Meade rode down to us from the line, 
accompanied by one of his staff, and by General Gibbon's invitation, 
they dismounted and joined us. For the General commanding 
the Army of the Potomac George, by an effort worthy of the person 
and the occasion, finds an empty cracker box for a seat. The staff 
officer must sit upon the ground with the rest of us. Soon Generals 


Newton and Pleasonton, each with an aide, arrive. By an almost 
superhuman effort a roll of blankets is found, which, upon a pinch, 
is long enough to seat these Generals both, and room is made for 
them. The aides sit with us. And, fortunate to relate, there was 
enough cooked for us all, and from General Meade to the young- 
est second lieutenant we all had a most hearty and well relished 
dinner. Of the "past" we were "secure." The Generals ate, and 
after, lighted cigars, and under the flickering shade of a very small 
tree, discoursed of the incidents of yesterday's battle and of the 
probabilities of to-day. General Newton humorously spoke of 
General Gibbon as "this young North Carolinian," and how he 
was becoming arrogant and above his position, because he com- 
manded a corps. General Gibbon retorted by saying that General 
Newton had not been long enough in such a command, only since 
yesterday, to enable him to judge of such things. General Meade 
still thought that the enemy would attack his left again to-day 
towards evening; but he was ready for them. General Hancock 
thought that the attack would be upon the position of the Second 
Corps. It was mentioned that General Hancock would again as- 
sume command of the Second Corps from that time, so that General 
Gibbon would again return to the Second Division. 

General Meade spoke of the Provost Guards, that they were 
good men, and that it would be better to-day to have them in the 
works 6 than to stop stragglers and skulkers, as these latter would be 
good for but little even in the works; 6 and so he gave the order that 
all the Provost Guards should at once temporarily rejoin their reg- 
iments. Then General Gibbon called up Captain Parrel, First Min- 
nesota, who commanded the provost guard of his division, and di- 
rected him for that day to join the regiment. "Very well, sir," said 
the Captain, as he touched his hat and turned away. He was a quiet, 
excellent gentleman and thorough soldier. I knew him well and 
esteemed him. I never saw him again. He was killed in two or 
three hours from that time, and otfer half of his splendid company 
were either killed or wounded. 

And so the time passed on, each General now and then dispatch- 

6 HaskeIl probably wrote "ranks," as there were but few "works** deserving the 
name on the field. T. L. L. 


ing some order or message by an officer or orderly, until about half- 
past twelve, when all the Generals, one by one, first General Meade, 
rode off their several ways, and General Gibbon and his staff alone 

We dozed in the heat, and lolled upon the ground, with half 
open eyes. Our horses were hitched to the trees munching some 
oats. A great lull rests upon all the field. Time was heavy, and 
for want of something better to do, I yawned, and looked at my 
watch. It was five minutes before one o'clock. I returned my watch 
to its pocket, and thought possibly that I might go to sleep, and 
stretched myself upon the ground accordingly. Ex uno discc omncs. 
My attitude and purpose were those of the General and the rest of 
the staff. 

What sound was that? There was no mistaking it. The distinct 
sharp sound of one of the enemy's guns, square over to the front, 
caused us to open our eyes and turn them in that direction, when 
we saw directly above the crest the smoke of the bursting shell, and 
heard its noise. In an instant, before a word was spoken, as if that 
was the signal gun for general work, loud, startling, booming, the 
report of gun after gun in rapid succession smote our ears and their 
shells plunged down and exploded all around us. We sprang to our 
feet. In briefest time the whole Rebel line to the West was pouring 
out its thunder and its iron upon our devoted crest. The wildest 
confusion for a few moments obtained sway among us. The shells 
came bursting all about. The servants ran terror-stricken for dear 
life and disappeared. The horses, bitched to the trees or held by 
the slack hands of orderlies, neighed out in fright, and broke away 
and plunged riderless through the fields. The General at the first 
had snatched his sword, and started on foot for the front. I called for 
my horse; nobody responded. I found him tied to a tree, near by, 
eating oats, with an air of the greatest composure, which under the 
circumstances, even then struck me as exceedingly ridiculous. He 
alone, of all beasts or men near, was cool. I am not sure but that I 
learned a lesson then from a horse. Anxious alone for his oats, 
while I put on the bridle and adjusted the halter, he delayed me by 
keeping his head down, so I had time to see one of the horses of 
our mess wagon struck and torn by a shell. The pair plunge the 


driver has lost the reins horses, driver and wagon go into a heap 
by a tree. Two mules close at hand, packed with boxes of ammuni- 
tion, are knocked all to pieces by a shell. General Gibbon's groom 
has just mounted his horse and is starting to take the General's horse 
to him, when the flying iron meets him and tears open his breast. 
He drops dead and the horses gallop away. No more than a 
minute since the first shot was fired, and I am mounted and 
riding after the General. The mighty din that now rises to heaven 
and shakes the earth is not all of it the voice of the rebellion; for 
our guns, the guardian lions of the crest, quick to awake when 
danger comes, have opened their fiery jaws and begun to roar the 
great hoarse roar of battle. I overtake the General half way up to the 
line. Before we reach the crest his horse is brought by an orderly. 
Leaving our horses just behind a sharp declivity of the ridge, on 
foot we go up among the batteries. How the long streams of fire 
spout from the guns, how the rifled shells hiss, how the smoke deep- 
ens and rolls. Bivt where is the infantry? Has it vanished in smoke? 
Is this a nightmare or a juggler's devilish trick? All too real. The 
men of the infantry have seized their arms, and behind their works, 
behind every rock, in every ditch, wherever there is any shelter, 
they hug the ground, silent, quiet, unterrified, little harmed. The 
enemy's guns now in action are in position at their front of the 
woods along the second ridge that I have before mentioned and 
towards their right, behind a small crest in the open field, where 
we saw the flags this morning. Their line is some two miles long, 
concave on the side towards us, and their range is from one thou- 
sand to eighteen hundred yards. A hundred and twenty-five rebel 
guns, we estimate, are now active, firing twenty-four pound, twenty, 
twelve and ten-pound projectiles, solid shot and shells, spherical, 
conical, spiral. The enemy's fire is chiefly concentrated upon the 
position of the Second Corps. From the Cemetery to Round Top, 
with over a hundred guns, and to all parts of the enemy's line, our 
batteries reply, of twenty and ten-pound Parrotts, ten-pound rifled 
ordnance, and twelve-pound Napoleons, using projectiles as various 
in shape and name as those of the enemy. Captain Hazard com- 
manding the artillery brigade of the Second Corps was vigilant 
among the batteries of his command, and they were all doing 


well. All was going on satisfactorily. We had nothing to do, there- 
fore, but to be observers of the grand spectacle of battle. Captain 
Wessels, Judge Advocate of the Division, now joined us, and we 
sat down behind the crest, close to the left of Cushing's Battery, 
to bide our time, to see, to be ready to act when the time should 
come, which might be at any moment. Who can describe such a 
conflict as is raging around us? To say that it was like a summer 
storm, with the crash of thunder, the glare of lightning, the shrieking 
of the wind, and the clatter of hailstones, would be weak. The 
thunder and lightning of these two hundred and fifty guns and 
their shells, whose smoke darkens the sky, are incessant, all per- 
vading, in the air above our heads, on the ground at our feet, re- 
mote, near, deafening, ear-piercing, astounding; and these hailstones 
are massy iron, charged with exploding fire. And there is little of 
human interest in a storm; it is an absorbing element of this. You 
may see Same and smoke, and hurrying men, and human passion 
at a great conflagration; but they are all earthly and nothing more. 
These guns are great infuriate demons, not of the earth, whose 
mouths blaze with smoky tongues of living fire, and whose murky 
breath, sulphur-laden, rolls around them and along the ground, 
the smoke of Hades. These grimy men, rushing, shouting, their 
souls in frenzy, plying the dusky globes and the igniting spark, are 
in their league, and but their willing ministers. We thought that at 
the second Bull Run, at the Antietam and at Fredericksburg on the 
nth of December, we had heard heavy cannonading; they were but 
holiday salutes compared with this. Besides the great ceaseless roar 
of the guns, which was but the background of the others, a million 
various minor sounds engaged the ear. The projectiles shriek long 
and sharp. They hiss, they scream, they growl, they sputter; all 
sounds of life and rage; and each has its different note, and all are 
discordant. Was ever such a chorus of sound before ? We note the 
effect of the enemies' fire among the batteries and along the crest. 
We see the solid shot strike axle, or pole, or wheel, and the tough 
iron and heart of oak snap and fly like straws. The great oaks there 
by Woodruff's guns heave down their massy branches with a crash, 
as if the lightning smote them. The shells swoop down among the 
battery horses standing there apart. A half a dozen horses start, 


they stumble, their legs stiffen, their vitals and blood smear the 
ground. And these shot and shells have no respect for men either. 
We see the poor fellows hobbling back from the crest, or unable to do 
so, pale and weak, lying on the ground with the mangled stump of 
an arm or leg, dripping their life-blood away; or with a cheek torn 
open, or a shoulder mashed. And many, alas! hear not the roar as 
they stretch upon the ground with upturned faces and open eyes, 
though a shell should burst at their very ears. Their ears and their 
bodies this instant are only mud. We saw them but a moment 
since there among the flame, with brawny arms and muscles o 
iron wielding the rammer and pushing home the cannon's plethoric 

Strange freaks these round shot play! We saw a man coming up 
from the rear with his full knapsack on, and some canteens of water 
held by the straps in his hands. He was walking slowly and with 
apparent unconcern, though the iron hailed around him. A shot 
struck the knapsack, and it, and its contents flew thirty yards in 
every direction, the knapsack disappearing like an egg, thrown 
spitefully against a rock. The soldier stopped and turned about in 
puzzled surprise, put up one hand to his back to assure himself 
that the knapsack was not there, and then walked slowly on again 
unharmed, with not even his coat torn. Near us was a man crouching 
behind a small disintegrated stone, which was about the size of a 
common water bucket. He was bent up, with his face to the ground, 
in the attitude of a Pagan worshipper before his idol. It looked so 
absurd to see him thus, that I went and said to him, "Do not lie 
there like a toad. Why not go to your regiment and be a man?" 
He turned up his face with a stupid, terrified look upon me, and 
then without a word turned his nose again to the ground. An 
orderly that was with me at the time, told me a few moments later, 
that a shot struck the stone, smashing it in a thousand fragments, 
but did not touch the man, though his head was not six inches 
from the stone. ' 

All the projectiles that came near us were not so harmless. Not 
ten yards away from us a shell burst among some small bushes, 
where sat three or four orderlies holding horses. Two of the men 
and one horse were killed. Only a few yards off a shell exploded 


over an open limber box in Cushing's battery, and at the same in- 
stant, another shell over a neighboring box. In both the boxes the 
ammunition blew up with an explosion that shook the ground, 
throwing fire and splinters and shells far into the air and all around, 
and destroying several men. We watched the shells bursting in 
the air, as they came hissing in all directions. Their flash was a 
bright gleam of lightning radiating from a point, giving place in 
the thousandth part of a second to a small, white, puffy cloud, like 
a fleece of the lightest, whitest wool. These clouds were very numer- 
ous. We could not often see the shell before it burst; but sometimes, 
as we faced towards the enemy, and looked above our heads, the 
approach would be heralded by a prolonged hiss, which always 
seemed to me to be a line of something tangible, terminating in a 
black globe, distinct to the eye, as the sound had been to the ear. 
The shell would seem to stop, and hang suspended in the air an 
instant, and then vanish in fire and smoke and noise. We saw the 
missiles tear and plow the ground. All in rear of the crest for a 
thousand yards, as well as among the batteries, was the field of 
their blind fury. Ambulances, passing down the Taneytown road 
with wounded men, were struck. The hospitals near this road were 
riddled. The house which was General Meade's headquarters was 
shot through several times, and a great many horses of officers and 
orderlies were lying dead around it. Riderless horses, galloping 
madly through the fields, were brought up, or down rather, by 
these invisible horse-tamers, and they would not run any more. 
Mules with ammunition, pigs wallowing about, cows in the pastures, 
whatever was animate or inanimate, in all this broad range, were no 
exception to their blind havoc. The percussion shells would strike, 
and thunder, and scatter the earth and their whistling fragments; 
the Whitworth bolts would pound and ricochet, and bowl far away 
sputtering, with the sound of a mass of hot iron plunged in water; 
and the great solid shot would smite the unresisting ground with a 
sounding "thud," as the strong boxer crashes his iron fist into the 
jaws of his unguarded adversary. Such were some of the sights and 
sounds of this great iron battle of missiles. Our artillerymen upon 
the crest budged not an inch, nor intermitted, but, though caisson 
and limber were smashed, and the guns dismantled, and men and 


horses killed, there amidst smoke and sweat, they gave back, without 
grudge, or loss of time in the sending, in kind whatever the enemy 
sent, globe, and cone, and bolt, hollow or solid, an iron greeting to 
the rebellion, the compliments of the wrathful Republic. An hour 
has droned its flight since first the war began. There is no sign of 
weariness or abatement on either side. So long it seemed, that the 
din and crashing around began to appear the normal condition of 
nature there, and fighting man's element. The General proposed to 
go among the men and over to the front of the batteries, so at about 
two o'clock he and I started. We went along the lines of the infantry 
as they lay there flat upon the earth, a little to the front of the bat- 
teries. They were suffering little, and were quiet and cool. How 
glad we were that the enemy were no better gunners, and that they 
cut the shell fuses too long. To the question asked the men, "What 
do you think of this?" the replies would be, "O, this is bully," "We 
are getting to like it," "O, we don't mind this." And so they lay 
under the heaviest cannonade that ever shook the continent, and 
among them a thousand times more jokes than heads were cracked. 
We went down in front of the line some two hundred yards, and 
as the smoke had a tendency to settle upon a higher plain than where 
we were, we could see near the ground distinctly all over the fields, 
as well back to the crest where were our own guns as to the opposite 
ridge where were those of the enemy. No infantry was in sight, save 
the skirmishers, and they stood silent and motionless a row of gray 
posts through the field on one side confronted by another of blue. 
Under the grateful shade of some elm trees, where we could see 
much of the field, we made seats of the ground and sat down. Here 
all the more repulsive features of the fight were unseen, by reason of 
the smoke. Man had arranged the scenes, and for a time had taken 
part in the great drama; but at last, as the plot thickened, conscious 
of his littleness and inadequacy to the mighty part, he had stepped 
aside and given place to more powerful actors. So it seemed; for 
we could see no men about the batteries. On either crest we could 
see the great flaky streams of fire, and they seemed numberless, of 
the opposing guns, and their white banks of swift, convolving smoke; 
but the sound of the discharges was drowned in the universal ocean 
of sound. Over all the valley the smoke, a sulphury arch, stretched 


its lurid span; and through it always, shrieking on their unseen 
courses, thickly flew a myriad iron deaths. With our grim horizon 
on all sides round toothed thick with battery flame, under that dis- 
sonant canopy of warring shells, we sat and heard in silence. What 
other expression had we that was not mean, for such an awful 
universe of battle ? 

A shell struck our breastwork of rails up in sight of us, and a 
moment afterwards we saw the men bearing some of their wounded 
companions away from the same spot; and directly two men came 
from there down toward where we were and sought to get shelter 
in an excavation near by, where many dead horses, killed in yester- 
days fight had been thrown. General Gibbon said to these men, 
more in a tone of kindly expostulation than of command "My men, 
do not leave your ranks to try to get shelter here. All these matters 
are in the hands of God, and nothing that you can do will make you 
safer in one place than in another." The men went quietly back to 
the line at once. The General then said to me: "I am not a member 
of any church, but I have always had a strong religious feeling; and 
so in all these battles I have always believed that I was in the hands 
of God, and that I should be unharmed or not, according to His will. 
For this reason, I think it is, I am always ready to go where duty 
calls, no matter how great the danger." Half-past two o'clock, an 
hour and a half since the commencement, and still the cannonade 
did not in the least abate; but soon thereafter some signs of weariness 
and a little slacking of fire began to be apparent upon both sides. 
First we saw Brown's battery retire from the line, too feeble for 
further battle. Its position was a little to the front of the line. Its 
commander was wounded, and many of its men were so, or worse; 
some of its guns had been disabled, many of its horses killed; its 
ammunition was nearly expended. Other batteries in similar case 
had been withdrawn before to be replaced by fresh ones, and some 
were withdrawn afterwards. Soon after the battery named had gone, 
the General and I started to return, passing towards the left of the 
division, and crossing the ground where the guns had stood. The 
stricken horses were numerous, and the dead and wounded men lay 
about, and as we passed these latter, their low, piteous call for water 
would invariably come to us, if they had yet any voice left. I found 


canteens of water near no difficult matter where a battle has been 
and held them to livid lips, and even in the faintness of death the 
eagerness to drink told of their terrible torture of thirst. But we 
must pass on. Our infantry was still unshaken, and in all the can- 
nonade suffered very little. The batteries had been handled much 
more severely. I am unable to give any figures. A great number of 
horses had been killed, in some batteries more than half of all. Guns 
had been dismounted. A great many caissons, limbers and carriages 
had been destroyed, and usually from ten to twenty-five men to 
each battery had been struck, at least along our part of the crest. 
Altogether the fire of the enemy had injured us much, both in the 
modes that I have stated, and also by exhausting our ammunition 
and fouling our guns, so as to render our batteries unfit for further 
immediate use. The scenes that met our eyes on all hands among 
the batteries were fearful. All things must end, and the great can- 
nonade was no exception to the general law of earth. In the number 
of guns active at one time, and in the duration and rapidity of their 
fire, this artillery engagement, up to this time, must stand alone and 
pre-eminent in this war. It has not been often, or many times, sur- 
passed in the battles of the world. Two hundred and fifty guns, at 
least, rapidly fired for two mortal hours. Cipher out the number of 
tons of gunpowder and iron that made these two hours hideous. 

Of the injury of our fire upon the enemy, except the facts that ours 
was the superior position, if not better served and constructed artil- 
lery, and that the enemy's artillery hereafter during the battle was 
almost silent, we know litde. Of course, during the fight we often 
saw the enemy's caissons explode, and the trees rent by our shot 
crashing about his ears, but we can from these alone infer but little 
of general results. At three o'clock almost precisely the last shot 
hummed, and bounded and fell, and the cannonade was over. The 
purpose of General Lee in all this fire of his guns we know it now, 
we did not at the time so well was to disable our artillery and 
break up our infantry upon the position of the Second Corps, so as 
to render them less an impediment to the sweep of his own brigades 
and divisions over our crest and through our lines. He probably 
supposed our infantry was massed behind the crest and the batteries; 
and hence his fire was so high, and his fuses to the shells were cut 


so long, too long. The Rebel General failed in some of his plans in 
this behalf, as many generals have failed before and will again. The 
artillery fight over, men began to breathe more freely, and to ask, 
What next, I wonder? The battery men were among their guns, 
some leaning to rest and wipe the sweat from their sooty faces, some 
were handling ammunition boxes and replenishing those that were 
empty. Some batteries from the artillery reserve were moving up to 
take the places of the disabled ones; the smoke was clearing from 
the crests. There was a pause between acts, with the curtain down, 
soon to rise upon the final act, and catastrophe of Gettysburg. We 
have passed by the left of the Second Division, coming frcm the 
First; when we crossed the crest the enemy was not in sight, and all 
was still we walked slowly along in the rear of the troops, by the 
ridge cut off now from a view of the enemy in his position, and were 
returning to the spot where we had left our horses. General Gibbon 
had just said that he inclined to the belief that the enemy was falling 
back, and that the cannonade was only one of his noisy modes of 
covering the movement. 1 said that I thought that fifteen minutes 
would show that, by all his bowling, the Rebel did not mean retreat. 
We were near our horses when we noticed Brigadier General Hunt, 
Chief of Artillery of the Army, near Woodruffs Battery, swiftly 
moving about on horseback, and apparently in a rapid manner giving 
some orders about the guns. Thought we, what could this mean? 
In a moment afterwards we met Captain Wessels and the orderlies 
who had our horses; they were on foot leading the horses. Captain 
Wessels was pale, and he said, excited : "General, they say the enemy's 
infantry is advancing." We sprang into our saddles, a score of bounds 
brought us upon the all-seeing crest. To say that men grew pale 
and held their breath at what we and they there saw, would not be 
true. Might not six thousand men be brave and without shade of 
fear, and yet, before a hostile eighteen thousand, armed, and not five 
minutes' march away, turn ashy white? None on that crest now 
need be told that the enemy is advancing. Every eye could see his 
legions, an overwhelming resistless tide of an ocean of armed men 
sweeping upon us! Regiment after regiment, and brigade after 
brigade, move from the woods and rapidly take their places in the 
lines forming the assault. Pickett's proud division, with some addi- 


tional troops, hold their right; Pettigrew's (Worth's) their left. The 
first line at short interval is followed by a second, and that a third 
succeeds; and columns between, support the lines. More than half 
a mile their front extends; more than a thousand yards the dull 
gray masses deploy, man touching man, rank pressing rank, and line 
supporting line. The red flags wave, their horsemen gallop up and 
down; the arms of eighteen thousand men, barrel and bayonet, gleam 
in the sun, a sloping forest of flashing steel. Right on they move, 
as with one soul, in perfect order, without impediment of ditch, or 
wall or stream, over ridge and slope, through orchard and meadow, 
and cornfield, magnificent, grim, irresistible. All was orderly and 
still upon our crest; no noise and no confusion. The men had little 
need of commands, for the survivors of a dozen battles knew well 
enough what this array in front portended, and, already in their 
places, they would be prepared to act when the right time should 
come. The click of the locks as each man raised the hammer to 
feel with his fingers that the cap was on the nipple; the sharp jar as 
a musket touched a stone upon the wall when thrust in aiming over 
it, and the clicking of the iron axles as the guns were rolled up by 
hand a little further to the front, were quite all the sounds that could 
be heard. Cap-boxes were slid around to the front of the body; 
cartridge boxes opened, officers opened their pistol-holsters. Such 
preparations, little more was needed. The trefoil flags, colors of the 
brigades and divisions moved to their places in rear; but along the 
lines in front the grand old ensign that first waved in battle at Sara- 
toga in 1777, and which these people coming would rob of half its 
stars, stood up, and the west wind kissed it as the sergeants sloped its 
lance towards the enemy. I believe that not one above whom it then 
waved but blessed his God that he was loyal to it, and whose heart 
did not swell with pride towards it, as the emblem of the Republic 
before that treason's flaunting rag in front. General Gibbon rode 
down the lines, cool and calm, and in an unimpassioned voice he 
said to the men, "Do not hurry, men, and fire too fast, let them come 
up close before you fire, and then aim low and steadily." The coolness 
of their General was reflected in the faces of his men. Five minutes 
has elapsed since first the enemy have emerged from the woods no 
great space of time surely, if measured by the usual standard by 


which men estimate duration but it was long enough for us to 
note and weigh some of the elements of mighty moment that sur- 
rounded us; the disparity of numbers between the assailants and 
the assailed; that few as were our numbers we could not be supported 
or reinforced until support would not be needed or would be top late; 
that upon the ability of the two trefoil divisions to hold the crest and 
repel the assault depended not only their own safety or destruction, 
but also the honor of the Army of the Potomac and defeat or victory 
at Gettysburg. Should these advancing men pierce our line and 
become the entering wedge, driven home, that would sever our army 
asunder, what hope would there be afterwards, and where the blood- 
earned fruits of yesterday ? It was long enough for the Rebel storm 
to drift across more than half the space that had at first separated 
it from us. None, or all, of these considerations either depressed or 
elevated us. They might have done the former, had we been timid; 
the latter had we been confident and vain. But, we were there wait- 
ing, and ready to do our duty that done, results could not dis- 
honor us. 

Our skirmishers open a spattering fire along the front, and, fight- 
ing, retire upon the main line the first drops, the heralds of the 
storm, sounding on our windows. Then the thunders of our guns, 
first Arnold's, then Cushing's and Woodruff's and the rest, shake 
and reverberate again through the air, and their sounding shells 
smite the enemy. The General said I had better go and tell General 
Meade of this advance. To gallop to General Meade's headquarters, 
to learn there that he had changed them to another part of the field, 
to dispatch to him by the Signal Corps in General Gibbon's name 
the message, "The enemy is advancing his infantry in force upon 
my front," and to be again upon the crest, were but the work of a 
minute. All our available guns are now active, and from the fire 
of shells, as the range grows shorter and shorter, they change to 
shrapnel, and from shrapnel to canister; but in spite of shells, and 
shrapnel and canister, without wavering or halt, the hardy lines of 
the enemy continue to move on. The Rebel guns make no reply to 
ours, and no charging shout rings out to-day, as is the Rebel wont; 
but the courage of these silent men amid our shots seems not to need 
the stimulus of other noise. The enemy's right flank sweeps near 


Stannard's bushy crest, and his concealed Vermonters rake it with a 
well-delivered fire of musketry. The gray lines do not halt or reply, 
but withdrawing a little from that extreme, they still move on. And 
so across all that broad open ground they have come, nearer and 
nearer, nearly half the way, with our guns bellowing in their faces, 
until now a hundred yards, no more, divide our ready left from their 
advancing right. The eager men there are impatient to begin. Let 
them. First, Harrow's breastworks flame; then Hall's; then Webb's. 
As if our bullets were the fire coals that touched off their muskets, 
the enemy in front halts, and his countless level barrels blaze back 
upon us. The Second Division is struggling in battle. The rattling 
storm soon spreads to the right, and the blue trefoils are vieing with 
the white. All along each hostile front, a thousand yards, with nar- 
rowest space between, the volleys blaze and roll; as thick the sound 
as when a summer hailstorm pelts the city roofs; as thick the fire as 
when the incessant lightning fringes a summer cloud. When the 
Rebel infantry had opened fire our batteries soon became silent, and 
this without tht'ir fault, for they were foul by long previous use. 
They were the targets of the concentrated Rebel bullets, and some of 
them had expended all their canister. But they were not silent before 
Rhorty was killed, Woodruff had fallen mortally wounded, and 
Gushing, firing almost his last canister, had dropped dead among 
his guns shot through the head by a bullet. The conflict is left to 
the infantry alone. Unable to find my general, when I had returned 
to the crest after transmitting his message to General Meade, and 
while riding in the search having witnessed the development of 
the fight^ from the first fire upon the left by the main lines until all 
of the two divisions were furiously engaged, I gave up hunting as 
useless I was convinced General Gibbon could not be on the field; 
I left him mounted; I could easily have found him now had he so 
remained but now, save myself, there was not a mounted officer 
near the engaged lines and was riding towards the right of the 
Second Division, with purpose tq stop there, as the most eligible 
position to watch the further progress of the battle, there to be ready 
to take part according to my own notions whenever and wherever 
occasion was presented. The conflict was tremendous, but I had 
seen no wavering in all our line. Wondering how long the Rebel 


ranks, deep though they were, could stand our sheltered volleys, I had 
come near my destination, when great heaven! were my senses 
mad? The larger portion of Webb's brigade my God, it was true 
there by the group of trees and the angles of the wall, was breaking 
from the cover of their works, and, without orders or reason, with 
no hand lifted to check them, was falling back, a fear-stricken flock 
of confusion! The fate of Gettysburg hung upon a spider's single 
thread! A great magnificent passion came on me at the instant, not 
one that overpowers and confounds, but one that blanches the face 
and sublimes every sense and faculty. My sword, that had always 
hung idle by my side, the sign of rank only in every battle, I drew, 
bright and gleaming, the symbol of command. Was not that a fit 
occasion, and these fugitives the men on whom to try the temper of 
the Solinzen steel? All rules and proprieties were forgotten; all con- 
siderations of person, and danger and safety despised; for, as I met 
the tide of these rabbits, the damned red flags of the rebellion began 
to thicken and flaunt along the wall they had just deserted, and one 
was already waving over one of the guns of the dead Gushing. I or- 
dered these men to "halt," and "face about" and "fire," and they heard 
my voice and gathered my meaning, and obeyed my commands. On 
some unpatriotic backs of those not quick of comprehension, the flat 
of my sabre fell not lightly, and, at its touch their love of country 
returned, and, with a look at me as if I were the destroying angel, as 
I might have become theirs, they again faced the enemy. General 
Webb soon came to my assistance. He was on foot, but he was 
active, and did all that one could do to repair the breach, or to avert 
its calamity. The men that had fallen back, facing the enemy, soon 
regained confidence in themselves, and became steady. This portion 
of the wall was lost to us, and the enemy had gained the cover 
of the reverse side, where he now stormed with fire. But Webb's 
men, with their bodies in part protected by the abruptness of the 
crest, now sent back in the enemies' faces as fierce a storm. Some 
scores of venturesome Rebels, that in their first push at the wall had 
dared to cross at the further angle, and those that had desecrated 
Cushing's guns, were promptly shot down, and speedy death met 
him who should raise his body to cross it again. At this point little 
could be seen of the enemy, by reason of his cover and the smoke, 


except the flash of his muskets and his waving flags. These red flags 
were accumulating at the wall every moment, and they maddened us 
as the same color does the bull. Webb's men are falling fast, and 
he is among them to direct and encourage; but, however well they 
may now do, with that walled enemy in front, with more than a 
dozen flags to Webb's three, it soon becomes apparent that in not 
many minutes they will be overpowered, or that there will be none 
alive for the enemy to overpower. Webb has but three regiments, 
all small, the 69th, 71 st and 72nd Pennsylvania the io6th Pennsyl- 
vania, except two companies, is not here to-day and he must have 
speedy assistance, or this crest will be lost. Oh, where is Gibbon? 
where is Hancock ? some general anybody with the power and the 
will to support that wasting, melting line? No general came, and 
no succor! I thought of Hayes upon the right, but from the smoke 
and war along his front, it was evident that he had enough upon his 
hands, if he stayed the inrolling tide of the Rebels there. Doubleday 
upon, the left was ^oo far off and too slow, and on another occasion 
I had begged him to send his idle regiments to support another line 
battling with thrice its numbers, and this "Old Sumpter Hero" had 
declined. As a last resort, I resolved to see if Hall and Harrow could 
not send some of their commands to reinforce Webb. I galloped to 
the left in the execution of my purpose, and as I attained the rear 
of Hall's line from the nature of the ground and the position of the 
enemy it was easy to discover the reason and the manner of this 
gathering of Rebel flags in front of Webb. The enemy, emboldened 
by his success in gaining our line by the group of trees and the angle 
of the wall, was concentrating all his right against and was further 
pressing that point. There was the stress of his assault; there would 
he drive his fiery wedge to split our line. In front of Harrow's and 
Hall's Brigades he had been able to advance no nearer than when he 
first halted to deliver fire, and these commands had not yielded an 
inch. To effect the concentration before Webb, the enemy would 
march the regiment on his extreme right of each of his lines by the 
left flank to the rear of the troops, still halted and facing to the front, 
and so continuing to draw in his right, when they were all massed in 
the position desired, he would again face them to the front, and 
advance to the storming. This was the way he made the wall before 


Webb's line blaze red with his battle flags, and such was the purpose 
there of his thick-crowding battalions. Not a moment must be lost. 
Colonel Hall I found just in rear of his line, sword in hand, cool, 
vigilant, noting all that passed and directing the battle of his brigade. 
The fire was constantly diminishing now in his front, in the manner 
and by the movement of the enemy that I have mentioned, drifting 
to the right. "How is it going?" Colonel Hall asked me, as I rode 
up. "Well, but Webb is hotly pressed and must have support, or he 
will be overpowered. Can you assist him?" "Yes." "You cannot be 
too quick." "I will move my brigade at once." "Good." He gave the 
order, and in briefest time I saw five friendly colors hurrying to the 
aid of the imperilled three; and each color represented true, battle- 
tried men, that had not turned back from Rebel fire that day nor 
yesterday, though their ranks were sadly thinned, to Webb's brigade, 
pressed back as it had been from the wall, the distance was not 
great from Hall's right. The regiments marched by the right flank. 
Col. Hall superintended the movement in person. Col. Devereux 
coolly commanded the igth Massachusetts. His major, Rice, had 
already been wounded and carried off. Lieut. Col. Macy, of the 20th 
Mass., had just had his left hand shot off, and so Capt. Abbott gal- 
lantly led over this fine regiment. The jpd New York followed their 
excellent Colonel Mallon. Lieut. Col. Steel, 7th Mich., had just been 
killed, and his regiment, and the handful of the 59th N. Y., followed 
their colors. The movement, as it did, attracting the enemy's fire, 
and executed in haste, as it must be, was difficult; but in reasonable 
time, and in order that is serviceable, if not regular, Hall's men are 
fighting gallantly side by side with Webb's before the all important 
point. I did not stop to see all this movement of Hall's, but from him 
I went at once further to the left, to the ist brigade. Gen'l Harrow 
I did not see, but his fighting men would answer my purpose as well. 
The igth Me., the i5th Mass., the 82d N. Y. and the shattered old 
thunderbolt, the ist Minn. poor Farrell was dying then upon the 
ground where he had fallen, all men that I could find I took over 
to the right at the double quic^ 

As we were moving to, and near the other brigade of the division, 
from my position on horseback, I could see that the enemy's right, 
under Hall's fire, was beginning to stagger and to break. "See," I said 


to the men, "See the chivalry I See the gray-backs run!" The men 
saw, and as they swept to their places by the side of Hall and 
opened fire, they roared, and this in a manner that said more plainly 
than words for the deaf could have seen it in their faces, and the 
blind could have heard it in their voices the crest is safe! 

The whole Division concentrated, and changes of position, and 
new phases, as well on our part as on that of the enemy, having as 
indicated occurred, for the purpose of showing the exact present 
posture of affairs, some further description is necessary. Before the 
2d Division the enemy is massed, the main bulk of his force covered 
by the ground that slopes to his rear, with his front at the stone wall. 
Between his front and us extends the very apex of the crest. All there 
are left of the White Trefoil Division yesterday morning there were 
three thousand eight hundred, this morning there were less than 
three thousand at this moment there are somewhat over two thou- 
sand; twelve regiments in three brigades are below or behind the 
crest, in such a position that by the exposure of the head and upper 
part of the body above the crest they can deliver their fire in the 
enemy's faces along the top of the wall. By reason of the disorgani- 
zation incidental in Webb's brigade to his men's having broken and 
fallen back, as mentioned, in the two other brigades to their rapid 
and difficult change of position under fire, and in all the division 
in part to severe and continuous battle, formation of companies and 
regiments in regular ranks is lost; but commands, companies, regi- 
ments and brigades are blended and intermixed an irregular ex- 
tended mass men enough, if in order, to form a line of four or five 
ranks along the whole front of the division. The twelve flags of the 
regiments wave defiantly at intervals along the front; at the stone wall, 
at unequal distances from ours of forty, fifty or sixty yards, stream 
nearly double this number of the battle flags of the enemy. These 1 
changes accomplished on either side, and the concentration complete, 
although no cessation or abatement; in the general din of conflict 
since the commencement had at any time been appreciable, now it 
was as if a new battle, deadlier, stormier than before, had sprung 
from the body of the old a young Phoenix of combat, whose eyes 
stream lightning, shaking his arrowy wings over the yet glowing 
ashes of his progenitor. The jostling, swaying lines on either side 


boil, and roar, and dash their flamy spray, two hostile billows of a 
fiery ocean. Thick flashes stream from the wall, thick volleys answer 
from the crest. No threats or expostulation now, only example and 
encouragement. All depths of passion are stirred, and all combatives 
fire, down to their deep foundations. Individuality is drowned in a 
sea of clamor, and timid men, breathing the breath of the multitude, 
are brave. The frequent dead and wounded lie where they stagger 
and fall there is no humanity for them now, and none can be 
spared to care for them. The men do not cheer or shout; they growl, 
and over that uneasy sea, heard with the roar of musketry, sweeps 
the muttered thunder of a storm of growls. Webb, Hall, Devereux, 
Mallon, Abbott among the men where all are heroes, are doing deeds 
of note. Now the loyal wave rolls up as if it would overleap its bar- 
rier, the crest. Pistols flash with the muskets. My "Forward to the 
wall" is answered by the Rebel counter-command, "Steady, men!" 
and the wave swings back. Again it surges, and again it sinks. These 
men of Pennsylvania, on the soil of their own homesteads, the first 
and only to flee the wall, must be the first to storm it. "Major , 
lead your men over the crest, they will follow." "By the tactics I 
understand my place is in rear of the men." "Your pardon, sir; I see 
your place is in rear of the men. I thought you were fit to lead." 
"Capt. Suplee, come on with your men." "Let me first stop this 
fire in the rear, or we shall be hit by our own men." "Never mind 
the fire in the rear; let us take care of this in front first." "Sergeant, 
forward with your color. Let the Rebels see it close to their eyes 
once before they die." The color sergeant of the 72d Pa., grasping the 
stump of the severed lance in both his hands, waved the flag above 
his head and rushed towards the wall. "Will you see your color 
storm the wall alone?" One man only starts to follow. Almost half 
way to the wall, down go color bearer and color to the ground the 
gallant sergeant is dead. The line springs the crest qf'the solid 
ground with a great roar, heaves forward its 
arms, smoke, fire, a fighting mass. It rolls to the 
flash, the wall is crossed a moment ensues of 
shots, and undistinguishable conflict, followed by 
that makes the welkin ring again, and the last a 
of the great battle of Gettysburg is ended and wonJ iv / O P 


Many things cannot be described by pen or pencil such a fight 
"is one. Some hints and incidents may be given, but a description or 
picture never. From what is told the imagination may for itself 
construct the scene; otherwise he who never saw can have no 
adequate idea of what such a battle is. 

When the vortex of battle passion had subsided, hopes, fears, 
rage, joy, of which the maddest and the noisiest was the last, and 
'we were calm enough to look about us, we saw that, as with us, the 
fight with the Third Division was ended, and that in that division 
was a repetition of the scenes immediately about us. In that moment 
the judgment almost refused to credit the senses. Are these abject 
wretches about us, whom our men are now disarming and driving 
together in flocks, the jaunty men of Pickett's Division, whose steady 
lines and flashing arms but a few moments since came sweeping up 
the slope to destroy us? Are these red cloths that our men toss 
about in derision the "fiery Southern crosses," thrice ardent, the 
battle flags of the rebellion that waved defiance at the wall? We 
know, but so sudden has been the transition, we yet can scarce 

Just as the fight was over, and the first outburst of victory had a 
little subsided, when all in front of the crest was noise and confu- 
sion prisoners being collected, small parties in pursuit of them far 
down into the fields, flags waving, officers giving quick, sharp com- 
mands to their men I stood apart for a few moments upon the 
crest, by that group of trees which ought to be historic forever, a 
spectator of the thrilling scene around. Some few musket shots were 
still heard in the Third Division; and the enemy's guns, almost 
silent since the advance of his infantry until the moment of his 
defeat, were dropping a few sullen shells among friend and foe upon 
the crest. Rebellion fosters such humanity. Near me, saddest sight 
of the many of such a field and not in keeping with all this noise, 
were mingled alone the thick dead of Maine and Minnesota, and 
Michigan and Massachusetts, and the Empire and Keystone States, 
who, not yet cold, with the blood still oozing from their death- 
wounds, had given their lives to the country upon that stormy field. 
So mingled upon that crest, let their honored graves be. Look with 
me about us. These dead have been avenged already. Where the 


5^" CORPS 




of Gettysburg 
Final Attack 

July 3 

(Compiled 6tf 
C. J 

i OHIO* 


long lines of the enemy's thousands so proudly advanced, see how 
thick the silent men of gray are scattered. It is not an hour since 
these legions were sweeping along so grandly; now sixteen hundred 7 
of that fiery mass are strewn among the trampled grass, dead as 
the clods they load; more than seven thousand, probably eight thou- 
sand, are wounded, some there with the dead, in our hands, some 
fugitive far towards the woods, among them Generals Pettigrew, 
Garnett, Kemper and Armstead, the last three mortally, and the last 
one in our hands. "Tell General Hancock," he said to Lieutenant 
Mitchell, Hancock's aide-de-camp, to whom he handed his watch, 
"that I know I did my country a great wrong when I took up arms 
against her, for which I am sorry, but for which I cannot live to 
atone." Four thousand, not wounded, are prisoners of war. More in 
number of the captured than the captors. Our men are still "gather- 
ing them in." Some hold up their hands or a handkerchief in sign 
of submission; some have hugged the ground to escape our bullets 
and so are taken; few made resistance after the first moment of our 
crossing the wall; some yield submissively with good grace, some 
with grim, dogged aspect, showing that but for the other alternative 
they could not submit to this. Colonels, and all less grades of officers, 
in the usual proportion are among them, and all are being stripped of 
their arms. Such of them as escaped wounds and capture are fleeing 
routed and panic stricken, and disappearing in the woods. Small 
arms, more thousands than we can count, are in our hands, scattered 
over the field. And these defiant battle-flags, some inscribed with 
"First Manassas," the numerous battles of the Peninsula, "Second 
Manassas," "South Mountain," "Sharpsburg," (our Antietam,) 
"Fredericksburg," "Chancellorsville," and many more names, our 
men have, and are showing about, over thirty of them. 

Such was really the closing scene of the grand drama of Gettys- 
burg. After repeated assaults upon the right and the left, where, and 
in all of which repulse had been his/mly success, this persistent and 
presuming enemy forms his chosen troops, the flower of his army, 
for a grand assault upon our center. The manner and result of such 
assault have been told a loss to the enemy of from twelve thousand 

7 Final returns gave 1,653 buried by the First and Second Corps, presumably in 
this field. See 43 War Records, 264, 378. T. L. L. 


to fourteen thousand, killed, wounded and prisoners, and of over 
thirty battle-flags. This was accomplished by not over six thousand 
men, with a loss on our part of not over two thousand five hundred 
killed and wounded. 

Would to Heaven Generals Hancock and Gibbon could have 
stood there where I did, and have looked upon that field! It would 
have done two men, to whom the country owes much, good to have 
been with their men in that moment of victory to have seen the 
result of those dispositions which they had made, and of that splendid 
fighting which men schooled by their discipline, had executed. But 
they are both severely wounded and have been carried from the 
field. One person did come then that I was glad to see there, and 
that was no less than Major General Meade, whom the Army of the 
Potomac was fortunate enough to have at that time to command it. 
See how a great General looked upon the field, and what he said and 
did at the moment, and when he learned of his great victory. To 
appreciate the incident I give, it should be borne in mind that one 
coming up from the rear of the line, as did General Meade, could 
have seen very little of our own men, who had now crossed the crest, 
and although he could have heard the noise, he could not have told 
its occasion, or by whom made, until he had actually attained the 
crest. One who did not know results, so coming, would have been 
quite as likely to have supposed that our line there had been carried 
and captured by the enemy so many gray Rebels were on the crest 
as to have discovered the real truth. Such mistake was really made 
by one of our officers, as I shall relate. 

General Meade rode up, accompanied alone by his son, who is 
his aide-de-camp, an escort, if select, not large for a commander of 
such an army. The principal horseman was no bedizened hero of 
some holiday review, but he was a plain man, dressed in a service- 
able summer suit of dark blue cloth, without badge or ornament, 
save the shoulder-straps of his grade, and a light, straight sword of 
a General or General staff officer. He wore heavy, high-top boots 
and buff gauntlets, and his soft black felt hat was slouched down over 
his eyes. His face was very white, not pale, and the lines were 
marked and earnest and full of care. As he arrived near me, coming 
up the hill, he asked in a sharp, eager voice: "How is it going here?" 


"I believe, General, the enemy's attack is repulsed," I answered. Still 
approaching, and a new light began to come in his face, of gratified 
surprise, with a touch of incredulity, of which his voice was also the 
medium, he further asked: "What! Is the assault already repulsed?" 
his voice quicker and more eager than before. "It is, sir," I replied. 
By this time he was on the crest, and when his eye had for an instant 
swept over the field, taking in just a glance of the whole the masses 
of prisoners, the numerous captured flags which the men were de- 
risively flaunting about, the fugitives of the routed enemy, disappear- 
ing with the speed of terror in the woodspartly at what I had told 
him, partly at what he saw, he said, impressively, and his face lighted : 
"Thank God." And then his right hand moved as if it would have 
caught off his hat and waved it; but this gesture he suppressed, and 
instead he waved his hand, and said "Hurrah!" The son, with more 
youth in his blood and less rank upon his shoulders, snatched off 
his cap, and roared out his three "hurrahs" right heartily. The Gen- 
eral then surveyed the field, some minutes, in silence. He at length 
asked who was in command he had heard that Hancock and Gib- 
bon were wounded and I told him that General Caldwell was the 
senior officer of the Corps and General Harrow of the Division. He 
asked where they were, but before I had time to answer that I did 
not know, he resumed: "No matter; I will give my orders to you and 
you will see them executed." He then gave direction that the troops 
should be reformed as soon as practicable, and kept in their places, 
as the enemy might be mad enough to attack again. He also gave 
directions concerning the posting of some reinforcements which he 
said would soon be there, adding: "If the enemy does attack, charge 
him in the flank and sweep him from the field; do you understand." 
The General then, a gratified man, galloped in the direction of his 

Then the work of the field went on. First, the prisoners were 
collected and sent to the rear. "There go the men," the Rebels were 
heard to say, by some of our surgedns who were in Gettysburg, at 
the time Pickett's Division marched out to take position "There 
go the men that will go through your d d Yankee lines, for you." 
A good many of them did "go through our lines for us," but in a 
very different way from the one they intended not impetuous vie- 


tors, sweeping away our thin lines with ball and bayonet, but crest- 
fallen captives, without arms, guarded by the true bayonets of the 
Union, with the cheers of their conquerors ringing in their ears. 
There was a grim truth after all in this Rebel remark. Collected, 
the prisoners began their dreary march, a miserable, melancholy 
stream of dirty gray, to pour over the crest to our rear. Many of the 
officers were well dressed, fine, proud gentlemen, such men as it 
would be a pleasure to meet, when the war is over. I had no desire 
to exult over them, and pity and sympathy were the general feelings 
of us all upon the occasion. The cheering of our men, and the uncere- 
monious handling of the captured flags was probably not gratifying 
to the prisoners, but not intended for taunt or insult to the men; they 
could take no exception to such practices. When the prisoners were 
turned to the rear and were crossing the crest, Lieut. Col. Morgan, 
General Hancock's Chief of Staff, was conducting a battery from 
the artillery reserve, towards the Second Corps. As he saw the men 
in gray coming over the hill, he said to the officer in command of 
the battery: "See up there! The enemy has carried the crest. See 
them come pouring over! The old Second Corps is gone, and you 
had better get your battery away from here as quickly as possible, 
or it will be captured." The officer was actually giving the order 
to his men to move back, when close observation discovered that the 
gray-backs that were coming had no arms, and then the truth flashed 
upon the minds of the observers. The same mistake was made by 

In view of the results of that day the successes of the arms of the 
country, would not the people of the whole country, standing there 
upon the crest with General Meade, have said, with him: "Thank 

I have no knowledge and little notion of how long a time elapsed 
from the moment the fire of the infantry commenced, until the 
enemy was entirely repulsed, in this his grand assault. I judge, from 
the amount of fighting and the changes of position that occurred, 
that probably the fight was of nearly an hour's duration, but I cannot 
tell, and I have seen none who knew. The time seemed but a very 
few minutes, when the battle was over. 

When the prisoners were cleared away and order was again estab- 


lished upon our crest, where the conflict had impaired it, until be- 
tween five and six o'clock, I remained upon the field, directing some 
troops to their position, in conformity to the orders of General Meade. 
The enemy appeared no more in front of the Second Corps; but while 
I was engaged as I have mentioned, farther to our left some consid- 
erable force of the enemy moved out and made show of attack. Our 
artillery, now in good order again, in due time opened fire, and the 
shells scattered the "Butternuts," as clubs do the gray snow-birds of 
winter, before they came within range of our infantry. This, save 
unimportant outpost firing, was the last of the battle. 

Of the pursuit of the enemy and the movements of the army sub- 
sequent to the battle, until the crossing of the Potomac by Lee and 
the closing of the campaign, it is not my purpose to write. Suffice 
it that on the night of the 3rd of July the enemy withdrew his left, 
Ewell's Corps, from our front, and on the morning of the 4th we 
again occupied the village of Gettysburg, and on that national day 
victory was proclaimed to the country; that floods of rain on that 
day prevented army movements of any considerable magnitude, the 
day being passed by our army in position upon the field, in burying 
our dead, and some of those of the enemy, and in making the move- 
ments already indicated; that on the 5th the pursuit of the enemy 
was commenced his dead were buried by us and the corps of our 
army, upon various roads, moved from the battlefield. 

With a statement of some of the results of the battle, as to losses 
and captures, and of what I saw in riding over the field, when the 
enemy was gone, my account is done. 

Our own losses in killed, wounded and missing I estimate at 
twenty-three thousand? Of the "missing" the larger proportion were 
prisoners, lost on the ist of July. Our loss in prisoners, not wounded, 
probably was jour thousand. The losses were distributed among the 
different army corps about as follows: In the Second Corps, which 
sustained the heaviest loss of any corps, a little over jour thousand five 
hundred, of whom the missing wer6 a mere nominal number; in the 

8 Final returns stated the loss as 23,049, as follows: First Corps, 3,897 killed and 
wounded, 2,162 missing; Second Corps, 3,991 and 387; Third Corps, 3,622 and 
589; Fifth Corps, 1,976 and 211; Sixth Corps, 212 and 30; Eleventh Corps, 2,291 
and 1,510; Twelfth Corps, 1,016 and 66; Artillery Reserve, 230 and 12; Cavalry, 445 
and 407. See 43 War Records, 187. T. L. L. 


First Corps a little over four thousand, of whom a great many were 
missing; in the Third Corps four thousand, of whom some were 
missing; in the Eleventh Corps nearly jour thousand, of whom the 
most were missing; and the rest of the loss, to make the aggregate 
mentioned, was shared by the Fifth, Sixth and Twelfth Corps and 
the cavalry. Among these the missing were few; and the losses of 
the Sixth Corps and of the cavalry were light. I do not think the 
official reports will show my estimate of our losses to be far from 
correct, for I have taken great pains to question staff officers upon 
the subject, and have learned approximate numbers from them. We 
lost no gun or flag that I have heard of in all the battle. Some small 
arms, I suppose, were lost on the ist of July. 

The enemy's loss in killed, wounded and prisoners I estimate at 
forty thousand, and from the following data and for the following 
reasons: So far as I can learn, we took ten thousand prisoners, who 
were not wounded many more than these were captured, but several 
thousands of them were wounded. I have so far as practicable ascer- 
tained the number of dead the enemy left upon the field, approxi- 
mately, by getting the reports of different burying parties. I think 
his dead upon the field were five thousand, almost all of whom, save 
those killed on the first of July, were buried by us the enemy not 
having them in their possession. In looking at a great number of 
tables of killed and wounded in battles I have found that the propor- 
tion of the killed to the wounded is as one to five, or more than five, 
rarely less than five. So with the killed at the number stated, twenty- 
five thousand mentioned. I think fourteen thousand of the enemy, 
wounded and unwounded, fell into our hands. Great numbers of his 
small arms, two or three guns, and forty or more was there ever 
such bannered harvest? of his regimental battle-flags, were captured 
by us. Some day possibly we may learn the enemy's loss, but I doubt 
if he will ever tell truly how many flags he did not take home with 
him. I have great confidence however in my estimates, for they have 
been carefully made, and after much inquiry, and with no desire or 
motive to overestimate the enemy's loss. 

The magnitude of the armies engaged, the number of the casual- 
ties, the object sought by the Rebel, the result, will all contribute to 
give Gettysburg a place among the great historic battles of the world. 


That General Meade's concentration was rapid over thirty miles a 
day was marched by some of the Corps that his position was skil- 
fully selected and his dispositions good; that he fought the battle hard 
and well; that his victory was brilliant and complete, I think all 
should admit. I cannot but regard it as highly fortunate to us and 
commendable in General Meade, that the enemy was allowed the 
initiative, the offensive, in the main battle; that it was much better 
to allow the Rebel, for his own destruction, to come up and smash 
his lines and columns upon the defensive solidity of our position, 
than it would have been to hunt him, for the same purpose, in the 
woods, or to unearth him from his rifle-pits. In this manner our 
losses were lighter, and his heavier, than if the case had been re- 
versed. And whatever the books may say of troops fighting the 
better who make the attack, I am satisfied that in this war, Ameri- 
cans, the Rebels, as well as ourselves, are best on the defensive. The 
proposition is deducible from the battles of the war, I think, and 
my own observation confirms it. 

But men there are who think that nothing was gained or done 
well in this battle, because some other general did not have the com- 
mand, or because any portion of the army of the enemy was per- 
mitted to escape capture or destruction. As if one army of a hundred 
thousand men could encounter another of the same number of as 
good troops and annihilate it! Military men do not claim or expect 
this; but the McClellan destroyers do, the doughty knights of pur- 
chasable newspaper quills; the formidable warriors from the brothels 
of politics, men of much warlike experience against honesty and 
honor, of profound attainments in ignorance, who have the maxims 
of Napoleon, whose spirit they as little understand as they do most 
things, to quote, to prove all things; but who, unfortunately, have 
much influence in the country and with the Government, and so 
over the army. It is very pleasant for these people, no doubt, at safe 
distances from guns, in the enjoyment of a lucrative office, or of a 
fraudulently obtained government contract, surrounded by the lux- 
uries of their own firesides, where mud and flooding storms, and 
utter weariness never penetrate, to discourse of battles and how 
campaigns should be conducted and armies of the enemy destroyed. 
But it should be enough, perhaps, to say that men here, or elsewhere, 


who have knowledge enough of military affairs to entitle them to 
express an opinion on such matters, and accurate information 
enough to realize the nature and the means of this desired destruc- 
tion of Lee's army before it crossed the Potomac into Virginia, will 
be most likely to vindicate the Pennsylvania campaign of Gen. 
Meade, and to see that he accomplished all that could have been 
reasonably expected of any general of any army. Complaint has 
been, and is, made specially against Meade, that he did not attack ' 
Lee near Williamsport before he had time to withdraw across the 
river. These were the facts concerning this matter: 

The 1 3th of July was the earliest day when such an attack, if 
practicable at all, could have been made. The time before this, since 
the battle, had been spent in moving the army from the vicinity of 
the field, finding something of the enemy and concentrating before 
him. On that day the army was concentrated and in order of battle 
near the turnpike that leads from Sharpsburg to Hagerstown, Md., 
the right resting at or near the latter place, the left near Jones' cross- 
roads, some six miles in the direction of Sharpsburg, and in the 
following order from left to right: the i2th corps, the 2d, the 5th, the 
6th, the ist, the nth; the 3d being in reserve behind the 2d. The 
mean distance to the Potomac was some six miles, and the enemy 
was between Meade and the river. The Potomac, swelled by the 
recent rain, was boiling and swift and deep, a magnificent place to 
have drowned all the Rebel crew. I have not the least doubt but 
that Gen. Meade would have liked to drown them all, if he could, 
but they were unwilling to be drowned, and would fight first. To 
drive them into the river then, they must be routed. Gen. Meade, 
I believe, favored an attack upon the enemy at that time, and he 
summoned his corps commanders to a council upon the subject. 
The ist corps was represented by William Hayes, the 3d by French, 
the 5th by Sykes, the 6th by Sedgwick, the nth by Howard, the i2th 
by Slocum, and the Cavalry by Pleasanton. Of the eight generals 
there, Wadsworth, Howard and Pleasanton were in favor of imme- 
diate attack, and five, Hayes, French, Sykes, Sedgwick and Slocum 
were not in favor of attack until better information was obtained 
of the position and situation of the enemy. Of the pros Wadsworth 
only temporarily represented the ist corps in the brief absence of 


Newton, who, had a battle occurred, would have commanded. Pleas- 
anton, with his horses, would have been a spectator only, and How- 
ard, with the brilliant nth corps, would have been trusted nowhere 
but a safe distance from the enemy not by Gen. Howard's fault, 
however, for he is a good and brave man. Such was the position of 
those who felt sanguinarily inclined. Of the cons were all of the 
fighting generals of the fighting corps, save the ist. This, then, was 
the feeling of these generals all who would have had no responsi- 
bility or part in all probability, hankered for a fight those who 
would have had both part and responsibility, did not. The attack 
was not made. At daylight on the morning of the I4th, strong recon- 
naissances from the i2th, ad and 5th corps were the means of discov- 
ering that between the enemy, except a thousand or fifteen hundred 
of his rear guard, who fell into our hands, and the Army of the 
Potomac, rolled the rapid, unbridged river. The Rebel General, 
Pettigrew, was here killed. The enemy had constructed bridges, had 
crossed during all the preceding night, but so close were our cavalry 
and infantry upon him in the morning, that the bridges were 
destroyed before his rear guard had all crossed. 

Among the considerations influencing these generals against the 
propriety of attack at that time, were probably the following: The 
army was wearied and worn down by four weeks of constant forced 
marching or battle, in the midst of heat, mud and drenching show- 
ers, burdened with arms, accoutrements, blankets, sixty to a hundred 
cartridges, and five to eight days' rations. What such weariness 
means few save soldiers know. Since the battle, the army had been 
constantly diminished by sickness or prostration and by more strag- 
gling than I ever saw before. Poor fellows they could not help it. 
The men were near the point when further efficient physical exer- 
tion was quite impossible. Even the sound of the skirmishing, which 
was almost constant, and the excitement of impending battle, had no 
effect to arouse for an hour the exhibition of their wonted former 
vigor. The enemy's loss in battle; it is true, had been far heavier 
than ours; but his army was less weary than ours, for in a given time 
since the first of the campaign, it had marched far less and with 
lighter loads. These Rebels are accustomed to hunger and naked- 
ness, customs to which our men do not take readily. And the enemy 


had straggled less, for the men were going away from battle and 
towards home, and for them to straggle was to go into captivity, 
whose end they could not conjecture. The enemy was somewhere in 
position in a ridgy, wooded country, abounding in strong defensive 
positions, his main bodies concealed, protected by rifle-pits and 
epaulements, acting strictly on the defensive. His dispositions, his 
position even, with any considerable degree of accuracy was un- 
known, nor could they be known except by reconnaissances in such 
force, and carried to such extent, as would have constituted them 
attacks liable to bring on at any moment a general engagement, and 
at places where we were least prepared and least likely to be success- 
ful. To have had a battle there then, Gen. Meade would have had to 
attack a cunning enemy in the dark, where surprises, undiscovered 
rifle-pits and batteries, and unseen bodies of men might have met 
his forces at every point. With his not greatly superior numbers, 
under such circumstances had Gen. Meade attacked, would he have 
been victorious? The vote of these generals at the council shows 
their opinion my own is that he would have been repulsed with 
heavy loss, with little damage to the enemy. Such a result might 
have satisfied the bloody politicians better than the end of the cam- 
paign as it was; but I think the country did not need that sacrifice 
of the Army of the Potomac at that time that enough odor of 
sacrifice came up to its nostrils from the ist Fredericksburg field, to 
stop their snuffing for some time. I felt the probability of defeat 
strongly at the time, when we all supposed that a conflict would 
certainly ensue; for always before a battle at least it so happens to 
me some dim presentiment of results, some unaccountable fore- 
shadowing pervades the army. I never knew the result to prove 
it untrue, which rests with the weight of a conviction. Whether 
such shadows are cause or consequence, I shall not pretend to deter- 
mine; but when, as they often are, they are general, I think they 
should not be wholly disregarded by the commander. I believe the 
Army of the Potomac is always willing, often eager, to fight the 
enemy, whenever, as it thinks, there is a fair chance for victory; that 
it always will fight, let come victory or defeat whenever it is ordered 
so to do. Of course the army, both officers and men, had very great 
disappointment and very great sorrow that the Rebels escaped so it 


was called across the river; the disappointment was genuine, at least 
to the extent that disappointment is like surprise; but the sorrow 
to judge by looks, tones and actions, rather than by words, was not 
of that deep, sable character for which there is no balm. 

Would it be an imputation upon the courage or patriotism of this 
army if it was not rampant for fight at this particular time and 
under the existing circumstances? Had the enemy stayed upon the 
left bank of the Potomac twelve hours longer, there would have been 
a great battle there near Williamsport on the i4th of July. 

After such digression, if such it is, I return to Gettysburg. 

As good generalship is claimed for Gen. Meade in the battle, so 
was the conduct of his subordinate commanders good. I know, and 
have heard, of no bad conduct or blundering on the part of any 
officer, save that of Sickles, on the 2d of July, and that was so gross, 
and came so near being the cause of irreparable disaster that I cannot 
discuss it with moderation. I hope the man may never return to 
the Army of the Potomac, or elsewhere, to a position where his 
incapacity, or something worse, may bring fruitless destruction to 
thousands again. The conduct of officers and men was good. The 
nth corps behaved badly; but I have yet to learn the occasion when, 
in the opinion of any save their own officers and themselves, the men 
of this corps have behaved well on the march or before the enemy, 
either under Siegel or any other commander. With this exception, 
and some minor cases of very little consequence in the general result, 
our troops whenever and wherever the enemy came, stood against 
them storms of impassable fire. Such was the infantry, such the artil- 
lery the cavalry did less but it did all that was required. 

The enemy, too, showed a determination and valor worthy of a 
better cause. Their conduct in this battle even makes me proud of 
them as Americans. They would have been victorious over any but 
the best of soldiers. Lee and his generals presumed too much upon 
some past successes, and did not estimate how much they were due 
on their part to position, as at Fredericksburg, or on our part to bad 
generalship, as at the 2d Bull Run and Chancellorsville, 

The fight of the ist of July we do not, of course, claim as a victory; 
but even that probably would have resulted differently had Reynolds 
not been struck. The success of the enemy in the battle ended with 


the ist of July. The Rebels were joyous and jubilant so said our 
men in their hands, and the citizens of Gettysburg at their achieve- 
ments on that day. Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville were re- 
membered by them. They saw victory already won, or only to be 
snatched from the streaming coat-tails of the nth corps, or the "raw 
Pennsylvania militia" as they thought they were, when they saw 
them run; and already the spires of Baltimore and the dome of the 
National Capitol were forecast upon their glad vision only two or 
three days march away through the beautiful valleys of Pennsylvania 
and "my" Maryland. Was there ever anything so fine before? How 
splendid it would be to enjoy the poultry and the fruit, the meats, 
the cakes, the beds, the clothing, the Whiskey, without price in this 
rich land of the Yankee! It would, indeed! But on the 2d of July 
something of a change came over the spirit of these dreams. They 
were surprised at results and talked less and thought more as they 
prepared supper that night. After the fight of the 3d they talked 
only of the means of their own safety from destruction. Pickett's 
splendid division had been almost annihilated, they said, and they 
talked not of how many were lost, but of who had escaped. They 
talked of these "Yanks" that had clubs on their flags and caps, the 
trefoils of the 2d corps that are like clubs in cards. 

The battle of Gettysburg is distinguished in this war, not only as 
by far the greatest and severest conflict that has occurred, but for 
some other things that I may mention. The fight of the 2d of July, 
on the left, which was almost a separate and complete battle, is, so far 
as I know, alone in the following particulars: the numbers of men 
actually engaged at one time, and the enormous losses that occurred 
in killed and wounded in the space of about two hours. If the truth 
could be obtained, it would probably show a much larger number of 
casualties in this than my estimate in a former part of these sheets. 
Few battles of the war that have had so many casualties altogether 
as those of the two hours on the 2d of July. The 3d of July is dis- 
tinguished. Then occurred the "great cannonade" so we call it, and 
so it would be called in any war, and in almost any battle. And be- 
sides this, the main operations that followed have few parallels in 
history, none in this war, of the magnitude and magnificence of the 
assault, single and simultaneous, the disparity of the numbers 


engaged, and the brilliancy, completeness and overwhelming char- 
acter of the result in favor of the side numerically the weaker. I think 
I have not, in giving the results of this encounter, overestimated the 
numbers or the losses of the enemy. We learned on all hands, by 
prisoners and by the newspapers, that over two divisions moved up 
to the assault Pickett's and Pettigrew's that this was the first en- 
gagement of Pickett's in the battle, and the first of Pettigrew's, save 
a light participation on the ist of July. The Rebel divisions usually 
number nine or ten thousand, or did at that time, as we understood. 
Then I have seen something of troops and think I can estimate their 
numbers somewhat. The number of the Rebels killed here I have 
estimated in this way: the 2d and 3d divisions of the 2d corps buried 
the Rebel dead in their own front, and where they fought upon their 
own grounds, by count they buried over one thousand eight hun- 
dred. I think no more than about two hundred of these were killed 
on the 2d of July in front of the 2d division, and the rest must have 
fallen upon the 3d. My estimates that depend upon this contingency 
may be erroneous, but to no great extent. The rest of the particulars 
of the assault, our own losses and our captures, I know are approxi- 
mately accurate. Yet the whole sounds like romance, a grand stage 
piece of blood. 

Of all the corps d'armie, for hard fighting, severe losses and bril- 
liant results, the palm should be, as by the army it is, awarded to the 
"Old Second" It did more fighting than any other corps, inflicted 
severer losses upon the enemy in killed and wounded, and sustained 
a heavier life loss, and captured more flags than all the rest of the 
army, and almost as many prisoners as the rest of the army. The loss 
of the 2d corps in killed and wounded in this battle there is no 
other test of hard fighting was almost as great as that of all Gen. 
Grant's forces in the battle that preceded and in the siege of Vicks- 
burg. Three-eighths of the whole corps were killed and wounded. 
Why does the Western Army suppose that the Army of the Potomac 
does not fight? Was ever a mor6 absurd supposition ? The Army 
of the Potomac is grand! Give it good leadership let it alone and 
it will not fail to accomplish all that reasonable men desire. 

Of Gibbon's white trefoil division, if I am not cautious, I shall 
speak too enthusiastically. This division has been accustomed to 


distinguished leadership, Sumner, Sedgwick and Howard have 
honored, and been honored by, its command. It was repulsed under 
Sedgwick at Antietam and under Howard at Fredericksburg; it was 
victorious under Gibbon at the ad Fredericksburg and at Gettysburg. 
At Gettysburg its loss in killed and wounded was over one thousand 
seven hundred, near one-half of all engaged; it captured seventeen 
battle-flags and two thousand three hundred prisoners. Its bullets 
hailed on Pickett's division, and killed or mortally wounded four 
Rebel generals, Bar^sdale on the 2d of July, with the three on the 
3d, Armstead, Garnett and Kemper. In losses, in killed and 
wounded, and in captures from the enemy of prisoners and flags, 
it stood pre-eminent among all the divisions at Gettysburg. 

Under such generals as Hancock and Gibbon, brilliant results may 
be expected. Will the country remember them ? 

It is understood in the army that the President thanked the slayer 
of Barton Key for saving the day at Gettysburg. Does the country 
know any better than the President, that Meade, Hancock and Gib- 
bon were entitled to some little share of such credit? 

At about six o'clock on the afternoon of the 3d of July, my duties 
done upon the field, I quitted it to go to the General. My brave horse 
Dic^ poor creature, his good conduct in the battle that afternoon 
had been complimented by a Brigadier was a sight to see. He was 
literally covered with blood. Struck repeatedly, his right thigh had 
been ripped open in a ghastly manner by a piece of shell, and three 
bullets were lodged deep in his body, and from his wounds the 
blood oozed and ran down his sides and legs and with the sweat, 
formed a bloody foam. Dick's was no mean part in that battle. 
Good conduct in men under such circumstances as he was placed 
in might result from a sense of duty his was the result of his 
bravery. Most horses would have been unmanageable with the flash 
and roar of arms about and the shouting. Dick was utterly cool, 
and would have obeyed the rein had it been a straw. To Dick, 
belongs the honor of first mounting that stormy crest before the 
enemy, not forty yards away, whose bullets smote him, and of being 
the only horse there during the heat of the battle. Even the enemy 
noticed Dick, and one of their reports of the battle mentions the 
"solitary horseman" who rallied our wavering line. He enabled me 


to do twelve times as much as I could have done on foot. It would 
not be dignified for an officer on foot to run; it is entirely so, 
mounted, to gallop. I do not approve of officers dismounting in 
battle, which is the time of all when they most need to be 
mounted, for thereby they have so much greater facilities for being 
everywhere present. Most officers, however, in close action, dis- 
mount. Dick deserves well of his country, and one day should have 
a horse-monument. If there be "ut sapicntibus placit" and equine 
elysium, I will send to Charon the brass coin, the fee for Dick's 
passage over, and on the other side of the Styx in those shadowy 
clover-fields he may nibble the blossoms forever. 

I had been struck upon the thigh by a bullet which I think must 
have glanced and partially spent its force upon my saddle. It had 
pierced the thick cloth of my trowsers and two thicknesses of under- 
clothing, but had not broken the skin, leaving me with an enormous 
bruise that for a time benumbed the entire leg. At the time of 
receiving it, I heard the thump, and noticed it and the hole in the 
cloth into which I thrust my finger, and I experienced a feeling of 
relief, I am sure, when I found that my leg was not pierced. I think 
when I dismounted my horse after that fight that I was no very 
comely specimen of humanity. Drenched with sweat, the white of 
battle, by the reaction, now turned to burning red. I felt like a 
boiled man; and had it not been for the exhilaration at results I 
should have been miserable. This kept me up, however, and having 
found a man to transfer the saddle from poor Dick, who was now 
disposed to lie down by loss of blood and exhaustion, to another 
horse, I hobbled on among the hospitals in search of Gen. Gibbon. 

The skulkers were about, and they were as loud as any in their 
rejoicings at the victory, and I took a malicious pleasure as I went 
along and met them, in taunting the sneaks with their cowardice 
and telling them it was not true that Gen. Meade had just given 
the order to the Provost Guard to arrest and shoot all men they 
could find away from their regimefnts who could not prove a good 
account of themselves. To find the General was no easy matter. 
I inquired for both Generals Hancock and Gibbon I knew well 
enough that they would be together and for the hospitals of the 2d 
corps. My search was attended with many incidents that were pro- 


vokingly humorous. The stupidity o most men is amazing. I 
would ask of a man I met, "Do you know, sir, where the 2d corps 
hospitals are?'* "The i2th corps hospital is there!" Then I would 
ask sharply, "Did you understand me to ask for the i2th corps 
hospital?" "No!" "Then why tell me what I do not ask or care 
to know?" Then stupidity would stare or mutter about the ingrati- 
tude of some people for kindness. Did I ask for the Generals I was 
looking for, they would announce the interesting fact, in reply, that 
they had seen some other generals. Some were sure that Gen. Han- 
cock or Gibbon was dead. They had seen his dead body. This was 
a falsehood, and they knew it. Then it was Gen. Longstreet. This 
was also, as they knew, a falsehood. 

Oh, sorrowful was the sight to see so many wounded! The whole 
neighborhood in rear of the field became one vast hospital of miles 
in extent. Some could walk to the hospitals; such as could not were 
taken upon stretchers from the places where they fell to selected 
points and thence the ambulances bore them, a miserable load, to 
their destination. Many were brought to the building, along the 
Taneytown road, and too badly wounded to be carried further, died 
and were buried there, Union and Rebel soldiers together. At every 
house, and barn, and shed the wounded were; by many a cooling 
brook, or many a shady slope or grassy glade, the red flags beckoned 
them to their tented asylums, and there they gathered, in numbers 
a great army, a mutilated, bruised mass of humanity. Men with gray 
hair and furrowed cheeks and soft-lipped, beardless boys were there, 
for these bullets have made no distinction between age and youth. 
Every conceivable wound that iron and lead can make, blunt or 
sharp, bullet, ball and shell, piercing, bruising, tearing, was there; 
sometimes so light that a bandage and cold water would restore the 
soldier to the ranks again; sometimes so severe that the poor victim 
in his hopeless pain, remedyless save by the only panacea for all 
mortal suffering, invoked that. The men are generally cheerful, and 
even those with frightful wounds, often are talking with animated 
faces of nothing but the battle and the victory. But some are down- 
cast, their faces distorted with pain. Some have undergone the sur- 
geon's work; some, like men at a ticket office, await impatiently their 
turn to have an arm or a leg cut off. Some walk about with an arm 


in a sling; some sit idly upon the ground; some lie at full length 
upon a little straw, or a blanket, with their brawny, now blood- 
stained, limbs bare, and you may see where the minie bullet has 
struck or the shell has torn. From a small round hole upon many a 
manly breast, the red blood trickles, but the pallid cheek, the hard- 
drawn breath and dim closed eyes tell how near the source o life 
it has gone. The surgeons, with coats off and sleeves rolled up, and 
the hospital attendants with green bands upon their caps, are about 
their work; and their faces and clothes are spattered with blood; 
and though they look weary and tired, their work goes systematically 
and steadily on. How much and how long they have worked, the 
piles of legs, arms, feet, hands, and fingers about partially tell. Such 
sounds are heard sometimes you would not have heard them upon 
the field as convince that bodies, bones, sinews and muscles are 
not made of insensible stone. Near by appear a row of small fresh 
mounds, placed side by side. They were not there day before yester- 
day. They will become more numerous every day. 

Such things I saw as I rode along. At last I found the Generals. 
Gen. Gibbon was sitting on a chair that had been borrowed some- 
where, with his wounded shoulder bare, and an attendant was 
bathing it with cold water. Gen. Hancock was near by in an ambu- 
lance. They were at the tents of the Second Corps hospitals, which 
were on Rock Run. As I approached Gen. Gibbon, when he saw me, 
he began to hurrah and wave his right hand. He had heard the result. 
I said: U O, General, long and well may you wave" and he shook 
me warmly .by the hand. Gen. Gibbon was struck by a bullet in the 
left shoulder, which had passed from the front through the flesh and 
out behind, fracturing the shoulder blade and inflicting a severe but 
not dangerous wound. He thinks he was the mark of a sharpshooter 
of the enemy hid in the bushes, near where he and I had sat so long 
during the cannonade; and he was wounded and taken off the field 
before the fire of the main lines of, infantry had commenced, he 
being at the time he was hit near the left of his division. Gen. Han- 
cock was struck a little later near the same part of the field by a 
bullet, piercing and almost going through his thigh, without touch- 
ing the bone, however. His wdund was severe, also. He was carried 
back out of range, but before he would be carried off the field, he lay 


upon the ground in sight of the crest, where he could see something 
of the fight, until he knew what would be the result. 

And then, at Gen. Gibbon's request, I had to tell him and a large 
voluntary crowd of the wounded who pressed around now, for the 
wounds they showed not rebuked for closing up to the Generals, the 
story of the fight. I was nothing loth; and I must say though I used 
sometimes before the war to make speeches, that I never had so 
enthusiastic an audience before. Cries of "good," "glorious," fre- 
quently interrupted me, and the storming of the wall was applauded 
by enthusiastic tears and the waving of battered, bloody hands. 

By the custom of the service the General had the right to have 
me along with him, while away with his wound; but duty and in- 
clination attracted me still to the field, and I obtained the General's 
consent to stay. Accompanying Gen. Gibbon to Westminster, the 
nearest point to which railroad trains then ran, and seeing him 
transferred from an ambulance to the cars for Baltimore on the 4th, 
the next day I returned to the field to his division, since his wound- 
ing in the command of Gen. Harrow. 

On the 6th of July, while my bullet bruise was yet too inflamed 
and sensitive for me to be good for much in the way of duty *he 
division was then halted for the day some four miles from the field 
on the Baltimore turnpike I could not repress the desire or omit 
the opportunity to see again where the battle had been. With the 
right stirrup strap shortened in a manner to favor the bruised leg, 
I could ride my horse at a walk without serious discomfort. It 
seemed very strange upon approaching the horse-shoe crest again, 
not to see it covered with the thousands of troops and horses and 
guns, but they were all gone the armies, to my seeming, had van- 
ished and on that lovely summer morning the stillness and silence 
of death pervaded the localities where so recently the shouts and the 
cannon had thundered. The recent rains had washed out many an 
unsightly spot, and smoothed many a harrowed trace of the conflict; 
but one still needed no guide save the eyes, to follow the track of 
that storm, which the storms of heaven were powerless soon to 
entirely efface. The spade and shovel, so far as a little earth for the 
human bodies would render their task done, had completed their 
work a great labor, that. But still might see under some concealing 


bush, or sheltering rock, what had once been a man, and the thou- 
sands of stricken horses still lay scattered as they had died. The 
scattered small arms and the accoutrements had been collected and 
carried away, almost all that were of any value; but great numbers 
of bent and splintered muskets, rent knapsacks and haversacks, 
bruised canteens, shreds of caps, coats, trowsers, of blue or gray 
cloth, worthless belts and cartridge boxes, torn blankets, ammuni- 
tion boxes, broken wheels, smashed limbers, shattered gun carriages, 
parts of harness, of all that men or horses wear or use in battle, were 
scattered broadcast over miles of the field. From these one could 
tell where the fight had been hottest. The rifle-pits and epaulements 
and the trampled grass told where the lines had stood, and the bat- 
teries the former being thicker where the enemy had been than 
those of our own construction. No soldier was to be seen, but num- 
bers of civilians and boys, and some girls even, were curiously 
loitering about the field, and their faces showed not sadness or 
horror, but only staring wonder or smirking curiosity. They looked 
for mementoes of the battle to keep, they said; but their furtive 
attempts to conceal an uninjured musket or an untorn blanket 
they had been told that all property left here belonged to the 
Government showed that the love of gain was an ingredient at 
least of their motive for coming here. Of course, there was not 
the slightest objection to their taking anything they could find 
now; but their manner of doing it was the objectionable thing. I 
could now understand why soldiers had been asked a dollar for a 
small strip of old linen to bind their own wound, and not be com- 
pelled to go off to the hospitals. 

Never elsewhere upon any field have I seen such abundant 
evidences of a terrific fire of cannon and musketry as upon this. 
Along the enemy's position, where our shells and shot had struck 
during the cannonade of the third, the trees had cast their trunks 
and branches as if they had been icicles shaken by a blast. And 
graves of the Rebels' making, and dead horses and scattered ac- 
coutrements, showed that other things besides trees had been 
struck by our projectiles. I must say that, having seen the work 
of their guns upon the same occasion, I was gratified to see these 
things. Along the slope of Gulp's Hill, in front of the position of 


the I2th, and the ist Division of the ist Corps, the trees were almost 
literally peeled, from the ground up some fifteen or twenty feet, 
so thick upon them were the scars the bullets had made. Upon 
a single tree, not over a foot and a half in diameter, I actually counted 
as many as two hundred and fifty bullet marks. The ground was 
covered by the little twigs that had been cut off by the hailstorm of 
lead. Such were the evidences of the storm under which Ewell's 
bold Rebels assaulted our breastworks on the night of the 2d and 
the morning of the 3d of July. And those works looked formid- 
able, zig-zaging along these rocky crests, even now when not a 
musket was behind them. What madness on the part of the enemy 
to have attacked them! All along through these bullet-stormed 
woods were interspersed little patches of fresh earth, raised a foot 
or so above the surrounding ground. Some were very near the 
front of the works; and near by, upon a tree whose bark had been 
smoothed by an axe, written in red chalk would be the words, not in 
fine handwriting, "75 Rebels buried here." "^Jgf^ 54 Rebs. there." 
And so on. Such was the burial and such the epitaph of many 
of those famous men, once led by the mighty Stonewall Jackson. 
Oh, this damned rebellion will make brutes of us all, if it is not 
soon quelled! Our own men were buried in graves, not trenches; 
and upon a piece of board, or stave of a barrel, or bit of cracker 
box, placed at the head, were neatly cut or penciled the name and 
regiment of the one buried in such. This practice was general, 
but of course there must be some exceptions, for sometimes the 
cannon's load had not left enough of a man to recognize or name. 
The reasons here for the more careful interment of our own dead 
than such as was given to the dead of the enemy are obvious and I 
think satisfactory. Our own dead were usually buried not long 
after they fell, and without any general order to that effect. It was 
a work that the men's hearts were in as soon as the fight was over 
and opportunity offered, to hunt out their dead companions, to 
make them a grave in some convenient spot, and decently composed 
with their blankets wrapped about them, to cover them tenderly 
with earth and mark their resting place. Such burials were not 
without as scalding tears as ever fell upon the face of coffined 
mortality. The dead of the enemy could not be buried until after 


the close of the whole battle. The army was about to move some 
of it was already upon the march, before such burial commenced. 
Tools, save those carried by the pioneers, were many miles away 
with the train, and the burying parties were required to make all 
haste in their work, in order to be ready to move with their reg- 
iments. To make long shallow trenches, to collect the Rebel dead, 
often hundreds in one place, and to cover them hastily with a little 
earth, without name, number, or mark, save the shallow mound 
above them their names of course they did not know was the 
best that could be done. I should have been glad to have seen 
more formal burial, even of these men of the rebellion, both be- 
cause hostilities should cease with death, and of the respect I have 
for them as my brave, though deluded, countrymen. I found fault 
with such burial at the time, though I knew that the best was done 
that could be under the circumstances; but it may perhaps soften 
somewhat the rising feelings upon this subject, of any who may be 
disposed to share mine, to remember that under similar circum- 
stances had the issue of the battle been reversed our own dead 
would have had no burial at all, at the hands of the enemy, but, 
stripped of their clothing, their naked bodies would have been 
left to rot, and their bones to whiten upon the top of the ground 
where they fell. Plenty of such examples of Rebel magnanimity 
are not wanting, and one occurred on this field, too. Our dead 
that fell into the hands of the enemy on the ist of July had been 
plundered of all their clothing, but they were left unburied until 
our own men buried them after the Rebels had retreated at the end 
of the battle. 

All was bustle and noise in the little town of Gettysburg, as I 
entered it on my tour of the field. From the afternoon of the ist 
to the morning of the 4th of July, the enemy was in possession. Very 
many of the inhabitants had, upon the first approach of the enemy, 
or upon the retirement of our troops, fled their homes and the 
town not to return until after the 'battle. Now the town was a 
hospital where gray and blue mingled in about equal proportion. 
The public buildings, the courthouse, the churches and many 
private dwellings were full of wounded. There had been in some 
of the streets a good deal of fighting, and bullets had thickly spat- 


tered the fences and walls, and shells had riddled the houses from 
side to side. And the Rebels had done their work of pillage there, 
too, in spite of the smooth-sounding general order of the Rebel 
commander enjoining a sacred regard for private property the 
order was really good and would sound marvelously well abroad 
or in history. All stores of drugs and medicines, of clothing, tin- 
ware and all groceries had been rifled and emptied without pay or 
offer of recompense. Libraries, public and private, had been entered 
and the books scattered about the yards or destroyed. Great numbers 
of private dwellings had been entered and occupied without cere- 
mony and whatever was liked had been appropriated or wanton- 
ly destroyed. Furniture had been smashed and beds ripped open, 
and apparently unlicensed pillage had reigned. Citizens and women 
who had remained had been kindly relieved of their money, their 
jewelry and their watches all this by the high-toned chivalry, the 
army of the magnanimous Lee! Put these things by the side of 
the acts of the "vandal Yankees" in Virginia, and then let mad 
Rebeldom prate of honor! But the people, the women and children 
that had fled, were returning, or had returned to their homes 
such homes and amid the general havoc were restoring as they 
could order to the desecrated firesides. And the faces of them all 
plainly told that, with all they had lost and bad as was the con- 
dition of all things they found, they were better pleased with such 
homes than with wandering houseless in the fields with the Rebels 
there. All had treasures of incidents of the battle and of the occu- 
pation of the enemy wonderful sights, escapes, witnessed en- 
counters, wounds, the marvelous passage of shells or bullets which, 
upon the asking, or even without, they were willing to share with 
the stranger. I heard of no more than one or two cases of any 
personal injury received by any of the inhabitants. One woman 
was said to have been killed while at her wash-tub, sometime 
during the battle; but probably by a stray bullet coming a very 
long distance from our own men. For the next hundred years 
Gettysburg will be rich in legends and traditions of the battle. I 
rode through the Cemetery on "Cemetery Hill." How these quiet 
sleepers must have been astounded in their graves when the twenty- 
pound Parrott guns thundered above them and the solid shot 


crushed their gravestones! The flowers, roses and creeping vines 
that pious hands had planted to bloom and shed their odors over 
the ashes of dear ones gone, were trampled upon the ground and 
black with the cannon's soot. A dead horse lay by the marble 
shaft, and over it the marble finger pointed to the sky. The marble 
lamb that had slept its white sleep on the grave of a child, now lies 
blackened upon a broken gun-carriage. Such are the incongruities 
and jumblings of battle. 

I looked away to the group of trees the Rebel gunners know 
what ones I mean, and so do the survivors of Pickett's division 
and a strange fascination led me thither. How thick are the marks 
of battle as I approach the graves of the men of the 3d Division 
of the 2d Corps; the splintered oaks, the scattered horses seventy- 
one dead horses were on a spot some fifty yards square near the 
position of Woodruffs battery, and where he fell. 

I stood solitary upon the crest by "the trees" where, less than three 
days ago, I had stood before; but now how changed is all the eye 
beholds. Do these thick mounds cover the fiery hearts that in the 
battle rage swept the crest and stormed the wall? I read their 
names them, alas, I do not know but I see the regiments marked 
on their frail monuments -"zoth Mass. Vols.," "69 P. V.," "ist 
Minn. Vols." and the rest they are all represented, and as they 
fought commingled here. So I am not alone. These, my brethren 
of the fight, are with me. Sleep, noble brave! The foe shall not 
desecrate your sleep. Yonder thick trenches will hold them. As 
long as patriotism is a virtue, and treason a crime, your deeds have 
made this crest, your resting place, hallowed ground! 

But I have seen and said enough of this battle. The unfortunate 
wounding of my General so early in the action of the 3d of July, 
leaving important duties which, in the unreasoning excitement of the 
moment, I in part assumed, enabled me to do for the successful 
issue, something which under other, circumstances would not have 
fallen to my rank or place. Deploring the occasion for taking away 
from the division in that moment of its need its soldierly, appropriate 
head, so cool, so clear, I am yet glad, as that was to be, that his 
example and his tuition have not been entirely in vain to me, and 
that my impulses then prompted me to do somewhat as he might 
have done had he been on the field. The encomiums of officers. 


so numerous and some of so high rank, generously accorded me 
for my conduct upon that occasion I am not without vanity 
were gratifying. My position as a staff officer gave me an op- 
portunity to see much, perhaps as much as any one person, of that 
conflict. My observations were not so particular as if I had been 
attached to a smaller command; not so general as may have been 
those of a staff officer to the General commanding the army; but 
of such as they were, my heart was there, and I could do no less 
than to write something of them, in the intervals between marches 
and during the subsequent repose of the army at the close of the 
campaign. I have put somewhat upon these pages I make no 
apology for the egotism, if such there is, of this account it is not 
designed to be a history, but simply my account of the battle. It 
should not be assumed, if I have told of some occurrences, that there 
were not other important ones. I would not have it supposed that I 
have attempted to do full justice to the good conduct of the fallen, 
or the survivors of the ist and i2th Corps. Others must tell of 
them. I did not see their work. A full account of the battle as it was 
will never, can never be made. Who could sketch the changes, the 
constant shifting of the bloody panorama? It is not possible. The 
official reports may give results as to losses, with statements of at- 
tacks and repulses; they may also note the means by which results 
were attained, which is a statement of the number and kind of the 
forces employed, but the connection between means and results, 
the mode, the battle proper, these reports touch lightly. Two prom- 
inent reasons at least exist which go far to account for the general 
inadequacy of these official reports, or to account for their giving 
no true idea of what they assume to describe the literary infirmity 
of the reporters and their not seeing themselves and their commands 
as others would have seen them. And factions, and parties, and 
politics, the curses of this Republic, are already putting in their 
unreasonable demands for the foremost honors of the field. "Gen. 
Hooker won Gettysburg." How? Not with the army in person 
or by infinitesimal influence leaving it almost four days before the 
battle when both armies were scattered and fifty miles apart! Was 
ever claim so absurd? Hooker, and he alone, won the result at 
Chancellorsville. "Gen. Howard won Gettysburg!" "Sickles saved 
the day!" Just Heaven, save the poor Army of the Potomac from 


its friends! It has more to dread and less to hope from them than 
from the red bannered hosts of the rebellion. The states prefer 
each her claim for the sole brunt and winning of the fight. "Penn- 
sylvania won it!" "New York won it!" "Did not Old Greece, or 
some tribe from about the sources of the Nile win it?" For modern 
Greeks from Cork and African Hannibals were there. Those 
intermingled graves along the crest bearing the names of every 
loyal state, save one or two, should admonish these geese to cease 
to cackle. One of the armies of the country won the battle, and 
that army supposes that Gen. Meade led it upon that occasion. 
If it be not one of the lessons that this war teaches, that we have 
a country paramount and supreme over faction, and party, and 
state, then was the blood of fifty thousand citizens shed on this 
field in vain. For the reasons mentioned, of this battle, greater than 
that of Waterloo, a history, just, comprehensive, complete will never 
be written. By-and-by, out of the chaos of trash and falsehood that 
the newspapers hold, out of the disjointed mass of reports, out of 
the traditions and tales that came down from the field some eye 
that never saw the battle will select, and some pen will write what 
will be named the history. With that the world will be and, if we 
are alive, we must be, content. 

Already, as I rode down from the heights, nature's mysterious 
loom was at work, joining and weaving on her ceaseless web the 
shells had broken there. Another spring shall green these trampled 
slopes, and flowers, planted by unseen hands, shall bloom upon 
these graves; another autumn and the yellow harvest shall ripen 
there all not in less, but in higher perfection for this poured out 
blood. In another decade of years, in another century, or age, we 
hope that the Union, by the same means, may repose in a securer 
peace and bloom in a higher civilization. Then what matters it if 
lame Tradition glean on this field and hand down her garbled 
sheaf if deft story with furtive fingers plait her ballad wreaths, 
deeds of her heroes here? or if stately history fill as she list her 
arbitrary tablet, the sounding record of this fight? Tradition, story, 
history all will not efface the true, grand epic of Gettysburg. 

To H. M. Has{ell. 



[On Nov. 19, 1863, a part of the battlefield of Gettysburg was set aside as a 
cemetery, where monuments to the soldiers who fell there might be set up. The 
main oration was delivered by Edward Everett, at the conclusion of which Lincoln 
dedicated the field in this most pregnant and eloquent of his utterances.] 

FOURSCORE and seven years ago our fathers brought forth 
on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and 
dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. 
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that 
nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long en- 
dure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come 
to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those 
who here gave their lives that -the nation might live. It is altogether 
fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, 
we cannot dedicate we cannot consecrate we cannot hallow 
this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here 
have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The 
world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it 
can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, 
to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought 
here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here 
dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these 
honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which 
they gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly 
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, 
under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government 
of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from 
the earth. 




[The Proclamation of Amnesty gives an interesting indication of the lines along 
which Lincoln, had he lived, would have attempted to solve the problem of recon- 
struction. The main idea was to create by generous treatment a party loyal to the 
Union in each State, in whose hands the restored state government might, as speedily 
as possible, be placed.] 

WHEREAS, in and by the Constitution of the United 
States, it is provided that the President "shall have power 
to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the 
United States, except in cases of impeachment;" and 

Whereas, a rebellion now exists whereby the loyal State gov- 
ernments of several States have for a long time been subverted, 
and many persons have committed and are now guilty of treason 
against the United States; and 

Whereas, with reference to said rebellion and treason, laws have 
been enacted by Congress declaring forfeitures and confiscation of 
property and liberation of slaves, all upon terms and conditions 
therein stated, and also declaring that the President was thereby 
authorized at any time thereafter, by proclamation, to extend to 
persons who may have participated in the existing rebellion of any 
State or part thereof, pardon and amnesty, with such exceptions and 
at such times and on such conditions as he may deem expedient 
for the public welfare; and 

Whereas, the congressional declaration for limited and condi- 
tional pardon, accords with well-established judicial exposition of 
the pardoning power; and 

Whereas, with reference to said rebellion, the President of the 
United States has issued several proclamations with provisions, in 
regard to the liberation of slaves; and 

Whereas, it is now desired by some persons heretofore engaged 
in said rebellion to resume their allegiance to the United States, 



and to reinaugurate loyal State governments within and for their 
respective states: Therefore 

I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do proclaim, 
declare, and make known to all persons who have, directly or by 
implication, participated in the existing rebellion, except as herein- 
after excepted, that a full pardon is hereby granted to them and 
each of them, with restoration of all rights of property, except as 
to slaves, and in property cases, where rights of third parties shall 
have intervened, and upon the condition that every such person 
shall take and subscribe an oath, and thenceforward keep and main- 
tain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for 
permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect follow- 
ing, to wit: 

"1^ 9 Jo solemnly swear, in presence of Al- 
mighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and 
defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the 
States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and 
faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing 
rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not re- 
pealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by decision of the 
supreme court; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faith- 
fully support all proclamations of the President made during the 
existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as 
not modified or declared void by decision of the Supreme Court. 
So help me God." 

The persons excepted from the benefits of the foregoing provi- 
sions are all who are, or shall have been, civil or diplomatic officers 
or agents of the so-called Confederate government; all who have 
left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion; 
all who are, or shall have been, military or naval officers of said so- 
called Confederate government above the rank of colonel in the 
army or of lieutenant in the navy; all who left seats in the United 
States Congress to aid the rebellion; all who resigned commissions in 
the army or navy of the United States and afterwards aided the 
rebellion; and all who have engaged in any way in treating colored 
persons, or white persons in charge of such, otherwise than law- 
fully as prisoners of war, and which persons may have been found 


in the United States service as soldiers, seamen, or in any other 

And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known, that when- 
ever, in any of the States of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, 
Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North 
Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one tenth in number 
of the votes cast in such state at the presidential election of the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty, each 
having taken the oath aforesaid, and not having since violated it, 
and being a qualified voter by the election laws of the state existing 
immediately before the so-called act of secession, and excluding all 
others, shall reestablish a State government which shall be republi- 
can, and in nowise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized 
as the true government of the State, and the State shall receive 
thereunder the benefits of the constitutional provision, which de- 
clares that "the United States shall guarantee to every State in this 
Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each 
of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or 
the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), against 
domestic violence." 

And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known, that any 
provision which may be adopted by such State government in re- 
lation to the freed people of such State, which shall recognize and 
declare their permanent freedom, provide for their education, and 
which may yet be consistent as a temporary arrangement with 
their present condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless class, 
will not be objected to by the National Executive. 

And it is suggested as not improper that, in constructing a loyal 
State government in any State, the name of the State, the boundary, 
the subdivisions, the constitution, and the general code of laws, as 
before the rebellion, be maintained, subject only to the modifica- 
tions made necessary by the conditions hereinbefore stated, and 
such others, if any, not contravening said conditions, and which 
may be deemed expedient by those framing the new State govern- 

To avoid misunderstanding, it may be proper to say that this 
proclamation, so far as it relates to state governments, has no ref- 


erence to states wherein loyal state governments have all the while 
been maintained. And, for the same reason, it may be proper 
to further say, that whether members sent to congress from any 
state shall be admitted to seats constitutionally, rests exclusively 
with the respective houses, and not to any extent with the Executive. 
And still further, that this proclamation is intended to present the 
people of the states wherein the national authority has been sus- 
pended, and loyal state governments have been subverted, a mode 
in and by which the national authority and loyal state governments 
may be reestablished within said states, or in any of them; and, 
while the mode presented is the best the Executive can suggest, 
with his present impressions, it must not be understood that no 
other possible mode would be acceptable. 

Given under my hand at the city of Washington, on the 8th day 
of December, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the 
United States of America the eighty-eighth. 





Executive Mansion, Washington, November 21, 1864. 
MRS. BIXBY, Boston, Massachusetts: 

DEAR MADAM: I have been shown in the files of the War 
Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Mas- 
sachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have 
died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruit- 
less must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile 
you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot re- 
frain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in 
the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our 
Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, 
and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, 
and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a 
sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. 

Yours very sincerely and respectfully, 





[The following letters exchanged by Generals Grant and Lee give the terms 
under which the latter surrendered his army and practically brought to a close the 
War of Secession.] 

"Appomattox Court-House, Virginia, April 9, 1865. 

ERAL: In accordance with the substance of my letter 
>to you of the 8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender 
of the army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, 
to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, 
one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other 
to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The 
officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against 
the government of the United Statts until properly exchanged; and 
each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for 
the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public prop- 
erty to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officers ap- 
pointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side- 
arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage. This done, 
each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to 
be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe 
their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside. 

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 
"General R. E. Lee." 

"Head-Quarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 

April 9, 1865. 

"GENERAL: I received your letter of this date containing the terms 
of the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia, as proposed by 



you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in your 
letter of the 8th instant, they are accepted. I will proceed to des- 
ignate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect. 

"R. E, LEE, General. 
"Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant." 



"Head-Quarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 

April 10, 1865. 

a A FTER four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed 
/ \ courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has 
JL JL been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and re- 
sources. I need not tell the survivors of so many hard-fought battles, 
who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to 
this result from no distrust of them: but, feeling that valour and 
devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the 
loss that would have attended the continuation of the contest, I 
have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past 
services have endeared them to their countrymen. By the terms 
of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and 
remain there until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfac- 
tion that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully per- 
formed; and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to 
you His blessing and protection. With an increasing admiration 
of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful 
remembrance of your kind and generous consideration of myself, 
I bid you an affectionate farewell. 

"R. E. LEE, General." 




[By the date of Lincoln's second inauguration, the tide of war had turned in 
favour of the Union, and the end was in sight. The tone of the address, however, is 
subdued rather than triumphant, and it rises to a rare pitch of eloquence, marked by 
a singular combination of tenderness and determination.] 

-JT^ELLOW-COUNTRYMEN: At this second appearing to 

m^ take the oath of the Presidential office, there is less occasion 
M for an extended address than there was at first. Then, a 
statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed 
fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during 
which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every 
point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the at- 
tention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new 
could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else 
chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and 
it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With 
high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. 

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts 
were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it 
all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being de- 
livered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union 
without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy 
it without war seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, 
by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would 
make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would 
accept war rather than let it perish. 'And the war came. 

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not 
distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern 
part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. 
All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To 



strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for 
which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while 
the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the 
territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the 
magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither 
anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even 
before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier 
triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read 
the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His 
aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should 
dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from 
the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not 
judged. The prayers of both could not be answered that of neither 
has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. 
"Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be 
that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense 
cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those 
offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but 
which, having continued through His appointed time, He now 
wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this 
terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, 
shall, we discern therein, any departure from those divine attributes 
which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him ? Fondly 
do we hope fervently do we pray that this mighty scourge of 
war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue 
until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty 
years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood 
drawn with the lash shall be paid by another, drawn with the 
sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be 
said: "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous alto- 

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in 
the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish 
the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for 
him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his 
orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting 
peace among ourselves, and with all nations. 





tPresident Johnson's proclamation of May 10, 1865, marked the actual close of 
hostilities; that of April 2, 1866, declared the insurrection at an end in all the 
States save Texas; and this of Aug. 20, 1866, gave notice of the resumption of civil 
government in the States which had seceded.] 

"W"1T THEREAS, by proclamations of the i5th and I9th of 
%/%/ April, 1861, -the President of the United States in virtue 

V V of the power vested in him by the Constitution and the 
laws, declared that the laws of the United States were opposed and 
the execution thereof obstructed in the States of South Carolina, 
Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas by 
combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course 
of judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the marshals of 
the law; and 

Whereas, by another proclamation made on the i6th day of 
August, in the same year, in pursuance of an act of Congress 
approved July 13, 1861, the inhabitants of the States of Georgia, 
South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, 
Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida (except the 
inhabitants of the State of Virginia lying west of the Alleghany 
Mountains, and except also the inhabitants of such other parts of 
that State and the other States before named as might maintain 
a loyal adhesion to the Union and Constitution or might be from 
time to time occupied and controlled by forces of the United States 
engaged in the dispersion of the insurgents) were declared to be in 
a state of insurrection against the United States; and 

Whereas, by another proclamation of the ist of July, 1862, issued 
in pursuance of an act of Congress approved June 7, in the same 



year, the insurrection was declared to be still existing in the States 
aforesaid, with the exception of certain specified counties in the State 
of Virginia; and 

Whereas, by another proclamation made on the second day of 
April, 1863, in pursuance of an act of Congress of July 13, 1861, the 
exceptions named in the proclamation of August 16, 1861, were re- 
voked and the inhabitants of the States of Georgia, South Carolina, 
North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, 
Mississippi, Florida, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties of 
Virginia designated as West Virginia and the ports of New Orleans, 
Key West, Port Royal, and Beaufort, in North Carolina) were 
declared to be still in a state of insurrection against the United 
States; and 

Whereas, by another proclamation, of the i5th day of September, 
1863, made in pursuance of the act of Congress approved March 3, 
1863, the rebellion was declared to be still existing and the privilege 
of the writ of habeas corpus was in certain specified cases suspended 
throughout the United States, said suspension to continue through- 
out the duration of the rebellion or until said proclamation 
should, by a subsequent one to be issued by the President of the 
United States, be modified or revoked; and 

Whereas, the House of Representatives on the 2id day of July, 
1861, adopted a resolution in the following words, namely: 

Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the 
United States, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced 
upon the country by the disunionists of the Southern States now in 
revolt against the constitutional Government, and in arms around 
the capitol; that in this national emergency, Congress, banishing all 
feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty 
to the whole country; that this war is not waged upon our part in 
any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or sub- 
jugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights 
or established institutions of those States; but to defend and main- 
tain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union, 
with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States, unim- 
paired; and that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war 
ought to cease ; and 


Whereas, the Senate of the United States on the 25th day of July, 
1861, adopted a resolution in the words following, to wit: 

Resolved, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced 
upon the country by the disunionists of the Southern States now in 
revolt against the constitutional Government and in arms around the 
capitol; that in this national emergency Congress, banishing all 
feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its own 
duty to the whole country; that this war is not prosecuted upon our 
part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or 
subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the 
rights or established institutions of those States; but to defend 
and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws 
made in pursuance thereof and to preserve the Union, with all 
the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired; 
that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to 
cease; and 

Whereas, these resolutions though not joint or concurrent in form, 
are substantially identical, and as such have hitherto been and yet 
are regarded as having expressed the sense of Congress upon the 
subject to which they relate; and 

Whereas, the President of the United States by proclamation of 
the I3th of June, 1865, declared that the insurrection in the State of 
Tennessee had been suppressed, and that the authority of the United 
States therein was undisputed, and such United States officers as 
had been duly commissioned were in the undisturbed exercise of 
their official functions; and 

Whereas, the President of the United States by further proclama- 
tion, issued on the 2d day of April, 1866, did promulgate and declare 
that there no longer existed any armed resistance of misguided 
citizens or others to the authority of the United States in any or in 
all the States before mentioned, excepting only the State of Texas, 
and did further promulgate and declare that the laws could be sus- 
tained and enforced in the several States before mentioned, except 
Texas, by the proper civil authorities, State or Federal, and that the 
people of the said States, except Texas, are well and loyally disposed, 
and have conformed or will conform in their legislation to the 
condition of affairs growing out of the amendment to the Constitu- 


don of the United States, prohibiting slavery within the jurisdiction 
of the United States; 

And did further declare, in the same proclamation that it is the 
manifest determination of the American people that no State, of its 
own will, has a right or power to go out of, or separate itself from, 
or be separated from the American Union; and that, therefore, each 
State ought to remain and constitute an integral part of the United 

And did further declare, in the same last-mentioned proclamation, 
that the several aforementioned States, excepting Texas, had in the 
manner aforesaid given satisfactory evidence that they acquiesce in 
this sovereign and important resolution of national unity; and 

Whereas, the President of the United States in the same proclama- 
tion did further declare, that it is believed to be a fundamental prin- 
ciple of government that the people who have revolted and who 
have been overcome and subdued, must be dealt with so as to 
induce them voluntarily to become friends, or else they must be held 
by absolute military power or devastated so as to prevent them from 
ever again doing harm as enemies, which last-named policy is 
abhorrent to humanity and to freedom; and 

Whereas, the President did, in the same proclamation further 
declare, that the Constitution of the United States provides for 
constituent communities only as States, and not as Territories, 
dependencies, provinces, or protectorates; 

And further, that such constituent States must necessarily be, and 
by the Constitution and laws of the United States are, made equals 
and placed upon a like footing as to political rights, immunities, 
dignity, and power with the several States with which they are 

And did further declare, that the observance of political equality, 
as a principle of right and justice, is well calculated to encourage 
the people of the before-named States, except Texas, to become more 
and more constant and persevering in their new allegiance; and 

Whereas, the President did further declare, that standing armies, 
military occupation, martial law, military tribunals, and the suppres- 
sion of the writ of habeas corpus are in times of peace dangerous to 
public liberty, incompatible with the individual right of the citizen, 


contrary to the genius and spirit of our free institutions, and ex- 
haustive of the national resources, and ought not, therefore, to be 
sanctioned or allowed except in cases of actual necessity for repelling 
invasion and suppressing insurrection or rebellion; 

And the President did further, in the same proclamation, declare 
that the policy of the Government of the United States from the 
beginning of the insurrection to its overthrow and final suppression 
had been conducted in conformity with the principles in the last- 
named proclamation recited; and 

Whereas, the President, in the said proclamation, of the I3th of 
June, 1865, upon the grounds therein stated and hereinbefore recited, 
did then and thereby proclaim and declare that the insurrection 
which heretofore existed in the several States before named, except 
in Texas, was at an end, and was therefore to be so regarded; and 

Whereas, subsequently to the said 2d day of April, 1866, the 
insurrection in the State of Texas has been completely and every- 
where suppressed and ended, and the authority of the United States 
has been successfully and completely established in the said State of 
Texas and now remains therein unassisted and undisputed, and 
such of the proper United States officers as have been duly commis- 
sioned within the limits of the said State are now in the undisturbed 
exercise of their official functions; and 

Whereas, the laws can now be sustained and enforced in the said 
State of Texas by the proper civil authority, State or Federal, and 
the people of the said State of Texas, like the people of the other 
States before named, are well and loyally disposed and have con- 
formed or will conform in their legislation to the condition of affairs 
growing out of the amendment to the Constitution of the United 
States prohibiting slavery within the limits and jurisdiction of the 
United States; and 

Whereas, all the reasons and conclusions set forth in regard to the 
several States therein especially named now apply equally and in 
all respects to the State of Texas^ as well as to the other States which 
have been involved in the insurrection; and 

Whereas, adequate provision has been made by military orders to 
enforce the execution of the acts of Congress, aid the civil authorities, 
and secure obedience to the Constitution and laws of the United 


States within the State of Texas, if a resort to military force for 
such purpose should at any time be necessary : 

Now therefore, I,Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, 
do hereby proclaim and declare that the insurrection which here- 
tofore existed in the State of Texas is at an end, and is to be hence- 
forth so regarded in that State as in the other States before named, 
in which the said insurrection was proclaimed to be at an end, by the 
aforesaid proclamation of the 2d of April, 1866. 

And I do further proclaim, that the said insurrection is at an end, 
and that peace, order, and tranquility, and civil authority now exist 
in and throughout the whole United States of America. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused 

the seal of the United States to be affixed. 

[Seal.] Done at the city of Washington, this 2oth day of August, 
A. D. 1866, and of the Independence of the United States of 
America the ninety-first. 


By the President: 


Secretary of State. 



[The risk of encroachment by Russia had been one of the causes which induced 
President Monroe to give official utterance to the "Monroe Doctrine." After his 
statement, Russia ceased from attempts to increase her influence on the Pacific coast, 
and became willing to dispose of Alaska, regarding it as a possession difficult to defend 
and of little value. The territory was formally transferred on Oct. 18, 1867.] 

CONVENTION between the United States of America and 
His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, for the Cession of the 
Russian Possessions in North America to the United States, 
Concluded at Washington, March 30, 1867; Ratification Advised by 
Senate, April 9, 1867; Ratified by President, May 28, 1867; Ratifica- 
tions Exchanged at Washington, June 20, 1867; Proclaimed, June 
20, 1867. 

The United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of 
all the Russias, being desirous of strengthening, if possible, the good 
understanding which exists between them, have, for that purpose, 
appointed as their Plenipotentiaries, the President of the United 
States, William H. Seward, Secretary of State; and His Majesty the 
Emperor of all the Russias, the Privy Counsellor Edward de Stoeckl, 
his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the United 

And the said Plenipotentiaries, having exchanged their full pow- 
ers, which were found to be in due form, have agreed upon and 
signed the following articles: 


His Majesty the Emperor o all the Russias, agrees to cede to 
the United States, by this convention, immediately upon the ex- 
change of the ratifications thereof, all the territory and dominion 
now possessed by his said Majesty on the continent of America and 
in adjacent islands, the same being contained within the geographi- 



cal limits herein set forth, to wit: The eastern limit is the line of 
demarcation between the Russian and the British possessions in 
North America, as established by the convention between Russia and 
Great Britain, of February 28-16, 1825, and described in Articles III 
and IV of said convention, in the following terms: 

"III Commencing from the southernmost point of the island 
called Prince of Wales Island, which point lies in the parallel of 54 
degrees 40 minutes north latitude, and between the i3ist and i33d 
degree of west longitude (meridian of Greenwich), the said line 
shall ascend to the north along the channel called Portland Channel, 
as far as the point of the continent where it strikes the 56th degree 
of north latitude; from this last-mentioned point, the line of de- 
marcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel 
to the coast, as far as the point of intersection of the 141 st degree of 
west longitude (of the same meridian) ; and finally, from the said 
point of intersection, the said meridian line of the I4ist degree, in 
its prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean. 

"IV With reference to the line of demarcation laid down in the 
preceding article, it is understood 

"ist That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong 
wholly to Russia" (now, by this cession to the United States). 

"2d That whenever the summit of the mountains which extend 
in a direction parallel to the coast, from the 56th degree of north 
latitude to the point of intersection of the I4ist degree of west 
longitude, shall prove to be at the distance of more than ten marine 
leagues from the ocean, the limit between the British possessions and 
the line of coast which is to belong to Russia as above mentioned 
(that is to say, the limit to the possessions ceded by this convention), 
shall be formed by a line parallel to the winding of the coast, and 
which shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues there- 
from ." 

The western limit within which the territories and dominion 
conveyed are contained passes through a point in Behring's Straits 
on the parallel of sixty-five degrees thirty minutes north latitude, 
at its intersection by the meridian which passes midway between the 
islands of Krusenstern or Ignalook, and the island of Ratmanoff, 
or Noonarbook, and proceeds due north without limitation, into the 


same Frozen Ocean. The same western limit, beginning at the same 
initial point, proceeds thence in a course nearly southwest, through 
Behring's Straits and Behring's Sea, so as to pass midway between 
the northwest point of the island of St. Lawrence and the southeast 
point of Cape Choukotski, to the meridian of one hundred and 
seventy-two west longitude; thence, from the intersection of that 
meridian, in a southwesterly direction, so as to pass midway between 
the island of Attou and the Copper Island of the Kormandorski 
couplet or group, in the North Pacific Ocean, to the meridian of 
one hundred and ninety-three degrees west longitude, so as to 
include in the territory conveyed the whole of the Aleutian Islands 
east of that meridian. 


In the cession of territory and dominion made by the preceding 
article, are included the right of property in all public lots and 
squares, vacant lands, and all public buildings, fortifications, bar- 
racks, and other edifices which are not private individual property. 
It is, however, understood and agreed, that the churches which have 
been built in the ceded territory by the Russian Government, shall 
remain the property of such members of the Greek Oriental Church 
resident in the territory as may choose to worship therein. Any 
Government archives, papers, and documents relative to the terri- 
tory and dominion aforesaid, which may now be existing there, 
will be left in the possession of the agent of the United States; but 
an authenticated copy of such of them as may be required, will be, 
at all times, given by the United States to the Russian Government, 
or to such Russian officers or subjects as they may apply for. 


The inhabitants of the ceded territory, according to their choice, 
reserving their natural allegiance, may return to Russia within three 
years; but if they should prefer to remain in the ceded territory, 
they, with the exception of uncivilized native tribes, shall be admit- 
ted to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities 
of citizens of the United States, and shall be maintained and pro- 
tected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion. 


The uncivilized tribes will be subject to such laws and regulations 
as the United States may from time to time adopt in regard to 
aboriginal tribes of that country. 


His Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias, shall appoint, with 
convenient despatch, an agent or agents for the purpose of formally 
delivering <to a similar agent or agents, appointed on behalf of the 
United States, the territory, dominion, property, dependencies, and 
appurtenances which are ceded as above, and for doing any other 
act which may be necessary in regard thereto. But the cession, with 
the right of immediate possession, is nevertheless to be deemed com- 
plete and absolute on the exchange of ratifications, without waiting 
for such formal delivery. 


Immediately after the exchange of the ratifications of this con- 
vention, any fortifications or military posts which may be in the 
ceded territory shall be delivered to the agent of the United States, 
and any Russian troops which may be in the territory shall be 
withdrawn as soon as may be reasonably and conveniently prac- 


fn consideration of the cession aforesaid, the United States agree to 
pay at the Treasury in Washington, within ten months after the 
exchange of the ratifications of this convention, to the diplomatic 
representative or other agent of His Majesty the Emperor of all the 
Russias, duly authorized to receive the same, seven million two 
hundred thousand dollars in gold. The cession of territory and 
dominion herein made is hereby declared to be free and unincum- 
bered by any reservations, privileges, franchises, grants, or posses- 
sions, by any associated companies, whether corporate or incor- 
porate, Russian or any other, or by any parties, except merely private 
individual property-holders; and the cession hereby made conveys all 
the rights, franchises, and privileges now belonging to Russia in the 
said territory or dominion, and appurtenances thereto. 



When this convention shall have been duly ratified by the Presi- 
dent, of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of 
the Senate, on the one part, and, on the other, by His Majesty the 
Emperor of all the Russias, the ratifications shall be exchanged at 
Washington within three months from the date thereof, or sooner 
if possible. 

In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed 
this convention, and thereto affixed the seals of their arms. 

Done ait Washington, the thirtieth day of March, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven. 




[Queen Liliuokalani, of the Hawaiian Islands, attempted, in 1893, to introduce a 
new constitution, which would place the government of the Islands much more 
completely in her power than it had previously been. The attempt did not succeed; 
the Queen was forced to abdicate; and the foreigners in Honolulu set up a provisional 
government with a view to negotiating for annexation to the United States. Presi- 
dent Harrison sent an annexation treaty to the Senate, but President Cleveland, on 
his coming into power, withdrew it. President McKinley, in 1897, sent m a second 
treaty, which was passed by Congress in June and July, 1898, and the sovereignty 
was transferred to the United States on Aug. 12, 1898.] 

JOINT Resolution To provide for annexing the Hawaiian 
Islands to the United States. 
Whereas, the Government of the Republic of Hawaii hav- 
ing, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by 
its constitution, to cede absolutely and without reserve to the United 
States of America, all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in 
and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to 
cede and transfer to the United States, the absolute fee and owner- 
ship of all public, Government, or Crown lands, public buildings or 
edifices, ports, harbors, military equipment, and all other public 
property of every kind and description belonging to the Government 
of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance 
thereunto appertaining: Therefore, 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, That said cession 
is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the said Hawaiian 
Islands and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexed as 
a part of the territory of the United States and are subject to the 
sovereign dominion thereof, and that all and singular the property 
and rights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the United States 
of America. 

The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands 



shall not apply to such lands in the Hawaiian Islands; but the 
Congress of the United States shall enact special laws for their man- 
agement and disposition: Provided, That all revenue from or pro- 
ceeds of the same, except as regards such part thereof as may be 
used or occupied for the civil, military, or naval purposes of the 
United States, or may be assigned for the use of the local govern- 
ment, shall be used solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the 
Hawaiian Islands for educational and other public purposes. 

Until Congress shall provide for the government of such islands 
all the civil, judicial, and military powers exercised by the officers 
of the existing government in said islands shall be vested in such 
person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as the 
President of the United States shall direct; and the President shall 
have power to remove said officers and fill the vacancies so occa- 

The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations 
shall forthwith cease and determine, being replaced by such treaties 
as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded, between the United 
States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the 
Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the fulfillment of the treaties so 
extinguished, and not inconsistent with this joint resolution nor 
contrary to the Constitution of the United States nor to any existing 
treaty of the United States, shall remain in force until the Congress 
of the United States shall otherwise determine. 

Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States 
customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islands the existing 
customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and 
other countries shall remain unchanged. 

The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at 
the date of the passage of this joint resolution, including the amounts 
due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank, is hereby 
assumed by the Government of the United States; but the liability 
of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed four 
million dollars. So long, however, as the existing Government and 
the present commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are con- 
tinued as hereinbefore, provided said Government shall continue 
to pay the interest on said debt. 


There shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the 
Hawaiian Islands, except upon such conditions as are now or may 
hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States; and no Chi- 
nese, by reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to 
enter the United States from the Hawaiian Islands. 

SEC. i. The President shall appoint five commissioners, at least 
two of whom shall be residents of the Hawaiian Islands, who shall, 
as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend to Congress such 
legislation concerning the Hawaiian Islands as they shall deem 
necessary or proper. 

SEC. 2. That the commissioners hereinbefore provided for shall 
be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Senate. 

SEC. 3. That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, or so 
much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of 
any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to be 
immediately available, to be expended at the discretion of the Presi- 
dent of the United States of America, for the purpose of carrying 
this joint resolution into effect. 

APPROVED, July 7, 1898. 



(,8 9 8) 

[The following resolution not only recognized the independence of Cuba, but 
authorized the levying of war upon Spain in order to force upon that country a 
similar recognition. The resolution was passed in response to a message sent to 
Congress by President McKinley, April 11, 1898, asking for permission to intervene 
in Cuba.] 

JOINT Resolution for the recognition of the independence of the 
people of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain 
relinquish its authority and government in the Island of Cuba, 
and to withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban 
waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the 
land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions 
into effect. 

Whereas, the abhorrent conditions which have existed for more 
than three years in the Island of Cuba, so near our own borders, 
have shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, 
have been a disgrace to Christian civilization, culminating, as they 
have, in the destruction of a United States battle-ship, with two 
hundred and sixty-six of its officers and crew, while on a friendly 
visit in the harbor of Havana, and can not longer be endured, as 
has been set forth by the President of the United States in his mes- 
sage to Congress of April eleventh, eighteen hundred and ninety- 
eight, upon which the action of Congress was invited: Therefore, 

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, First. That the 
people of the Island of Cuba are, and of right ought to be, free and 

Second. That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and 
the Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the 
Government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and govern- 



ment in the Island of Cuba, and withdraw its land and naval forces 
from Cuba and Cuban waters. 

Third. That the President of the United States be, and he hereby 
is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces 
of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United 
States, the militia of the several States, to such extent as may be 
necessary to carry these resolutions into effect. 

Fourth. That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition 
or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said 
Islands except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determina- 
tion, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control 
of the Island to its people. 

APPROVED, April 20, 1898. 



[On July 26, 1898, nine days after the surrender of Santiago, the Spanish govern- 
ment opened negotiations for peace through the French ambassador at Washington. 
Fighting ceased on Aug. 12; and on Oct. i, the commissioners of Spain and the 
United States met at Paris, where the following treaty was drawn up.] 

f \REATY of Peace between the United States of America 

I and the Kingdom of Spain, Signed at Paris, December 10, 

M 1898; ratification advised by the Senate, February 6, 1899; 

ratified by the President, February 6, 1899; ratified by Her Majesty 

the Queen Regent of Spain, March 19, 1899; ratifications exchanged 

at Washington, April u, 1899; proclaimed at Washington, April 

u, 1899. 

XIII, desiring to end the state of war now existing between the two 
countries, have for that purpose appointed as Plenipotentiaries: 


GRAY, and WHITELAW REID, citizens of the United States; 


DON EUGENIO MONTERO Rios, President of the Senate, 

DON BUENAVENTURA DE ABARZUZA, Senator of the Kingdom, and 
ex-Minister of the Crown, 

DON JOSE DE GARNICA, Deputy to the Cortes and Associate Justice 
of the Supreme Court; 

nary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Brussels, and 

DON RAFAEL CERERO, General of Division; 

Who, having assembled in Paris, and having exchanged their full 
powers, which were found to be in due and proper form, have, after 



discussion of the matters before them, agreed upon the following 

articles : 


Spain relinquishes all claim of sovereignty over and title to 

And as the island is, upon its evacuation by Spain, to be occupied 
by the United States, the United States will, so long as such occupa- 
tion shall last, assume and discharge the obligations that may under 
international law result from the fact of its occupation, for the 
protection of life and property. 


Spain cedes to the United States, the island of Porto Rico and 
other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, 
and the island of Guam in the Marianas or Ladrones. 


Spain cedes to the United States, the archipelago known as the 
Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the 
following line : 

A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth 
parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable 
channel of Bachi, from the one hundred and eighteenth (n8th) 
to the one hundred and twenty-seventh (layth) degree meridian of 
longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the one hundred and 
twenty-seventh (i27th) degree meridian of longitude east of Green- 
wich to the parallel of four degrees and forty-five minutes (4 45') 
north latitude, thence along the parallel of four degrees and forty- 
five minutes (4 45') north latitude to its intersection with the 
meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty^ 
five minutes (119 35') east of Greenwich, thence along the merid- 
ian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty-five 
minutes (119 35') east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven 
degrees and forty minutes (7 40') north, thence along the parallel 
of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7 40') north to its 
intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth (n6th) degree 


meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to 
the intersection of the tenth (loth) degree parallel of north latitude 
with the one hundred and eighteenth (n8th) degree meridian of 
longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and 
eighteenth (n8th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich 
to the point of beginning. 

The United States will pay to Spain, the sum of twenty million 
dollars ($20,000,000) within three months after the exchange of the 
ratifications of the present treaty. 


The United States will, for the term of ten years from the date 
of the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, admit Span- 
ish ships and merchandise to the ports of the Philippine Islands on 
the same terms as ships and merchandise of the United States. 


The United States will, upon the signature of the present treaty, 
send back to Spain, at its own cost, the Spanish soldiers taken as 
prisoners of war on the capture of Manila by the American forces. 
The arms of the soldiers in question shall be restored to them. 

Spain will, upon the exchange of the ratifications of the present 
treaty, proceed to evacuate the Philippines, as well as the island of 
Guam, on terms similar to those agreed upon by the Commissioners 
appointed to arrange for the evacuation of Porto Rico and other 
islands in the West Indies, under the Protocol of August 12, 1898, 
which is to continue in force till its provisions are completely 

The time within which the evacuation of the Philippine Islands 
and Guam shall be completed shall be fixed by the two Govern- 
ments. Stands of colors, uncaptured war vessels, small arms, guns 
of all calibres, with their carriages and accessories, powder, ammuni- 
tion, live stock, and materials and supplies of all kinds, belonging to 
the land and naval forces of Spain in the Philippines and Guam, 
remain the property of Spain. Pieces of heavy ordnance, exclusive 
of field artillery, in the fortifications and coast defences, shall remain 
in their emplacements for the term of six months, to be reckoned 


from the exchange of ratifications of the treaty; and the United States 
may, in the meantime, purchase such material from Spain, if a satis- 
factory agreement between the two Governments on the subject shall 
be reached. 


Spain will, upon the signature of the present treaty, release all 
prisoners of war, and all persons detained or imprisoned for political 
offences, in connection with the insurrections in Cuba and the Phil- 
ippines and the war with the United States. 

Reciprocally, the United States will release all persons made pris- 
oners of war by the American forces, and will undertake to obtain 
the release of all Spanish prisoners in the hands of the insurgents in 
Cuba and the Philippines. 

The Government of the United States will at its own cost, return 
to Spain, and the Government of Spain will at its own cost, return 
to the United States, Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines, accord- 
ing to the situation of their respective homes, prisoners released or 
caused to be released by them, respectively, under this article. 


The United States and Spain mutually relinquish all claims for 
indemnity, national and individual, of every kind, of either Govern- 
ment, or of its citizens or subjects, against the other Government, 
that may have arisen since the beginning of the late insurrection in 
Cuba and prior to the exchange of ratifications of the present treaty, 
including all claims for indemnity for the cost of the war. 

The United States will adjudicate and settle the claims of its 
citizens against Spain relinquished in this article. 


In conformity with the provisions of Articles I, II, and III of this 
treaty, Spain relinquishes in Cuba, and cedes in Porto Rico and other 
islands in the West Indies, in the island of Guam, and in the Philip- 
pine Archipelago, all the buildings, wharves, barracks, forts, struc- 
tures, public highways and other immovable property which, in 


conformity with law, belong to the public domain, and as such 
belong to the Crown of Spain. 

And it is hereby declared that the relinquishment or cession, as 
the case may be, to which the preceding paragraph refers, cannot in 
any respect impair the property or rights which by law belong to 
the peaceful possession of property of all kinds, of provinces, munici- 
palities, public or private establishments, ecclesiastical or civic bodies, 
or any other associations having legal capacity to acquire and possess 
property in the aforesaid territories renounced or ceded, or of private 
individuals, of whatsoever nationality such individuals may be. 

The aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, 
includes all documents exclusively referring to the sovereignty re- 
linquished or ceded that may exist in the archives of the Peninsula. 
Where any document in such archives only in part relates to said 
sovereignty, a copy of such part will be furnished whenever it shall 
be requested. Like rules shall be reciprocally observed in favor of 
Spain in request of documents in the archives of the islands above 
referred to. 

In the aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, 
are also included such rights as the Crown of Spain and its authori- 
ties possess in respect of the official archives and records, executive 
as well as judicial, in the islands above referred to, which relate to 
said islands or the rights and property of their inhabitants. Such 
archives and records shall be carefully preserved, and private persons 
shall without distinction have the right to require, in accordance 
with law, authenticated copies of the contracts, wills and other instru- 
ments forming part of notarial protocols or files, or which may be 
contained in the executive or judicial archives, be the latter in Spain 
or in the islands aforesaid. 


Spanish subjects, natives of the Peninsula, residing in the territory 
over which Spain by the present 'treaty relinquishes or cedes her 
sovereignty, may remain in such territory or may remove therefrom, 
retaining in either event all their rights of property, including the 
right to sell or dispose of such property or of its proceeds; and they 
shall also have the right to carry on their industry, commerce and 


professions, being subject in respect thereof to such laws as are 
applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain in the territory 
they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making, 
before a court of record, within a year from the date of the exchange 
of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision to pre- 
serve such allegiance; in default of which declaration they shall be 
held to have renounced it and to have adopted the nationality of the 
territory in which they may reside. 

The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of 
the territories hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined 
by the Congress. 


The inhabitants of the territories over which Spain relinquishes 
or cedes her sovereignty shall be secured in the free exercise of their 


The Spaniards residing in the territories over which Spain by this 
treaty cedes or relinquishes her sovereignty shall be subject in mat- 
ters civil as well as criminal to the jurisdiction of the courts of the 
country wherein they reside, pursuant to the ordinary laws govern- 
ing the same; and they shall have the right to appear before such 
courts, and to pursue the same course as citizens of the country to 
which the courts belong. 


Judicial proceedings pending at the time of the exchange of 
ratifications of this treaty in the territories over which Spain relin- 
quishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be determined according to 
the following rules: 

(0 Judgments rendered either in civil suits between private 
individuals, or in criminal matters, before the date mentioned, and 
with respect to which there is no recourse or right of review under 
the Spanish law, shall be deemed to be final, and shall be executed 
in due form by competent authority in the territory within which 
such judgments should be carried out. 


(2) Civil suits between private individuals which may on the 
date mentioned be undetermined shall be prosecuted to judgment 
before the court in which they may then be pending or in the court 
that may be substituted therefor. 

(3) Criminal actions pending on the date mentioned before the 
Supreme Court of Spain against citizens of the territory which by 
this treaty ceases to be Spanish shall continue under its jurisdiction 
until final judgment; but, such judgment having been rendered, the 
execution thereof shall be committed to the competent authority of 
the place in which the case arose. 


The rights of property secured by copyrights and patents acquired 
by Spaniards in the Island of Cuba, and in Porto Rico, the Philip- 
pines and other ceded territories, at the time of the exchange of the 
ratifications of this treaty, shall continue to be respected. Spanish 
scientific, literary and artistic works, not subversive of public order 
in the territories in question, shall continue to be admitted free of 
duty into such territories, for the period of ten years, to be reckoned 
from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty. 


Spain shall have the power to establish consular officers in the 
ports and places of the territories, the sovereignty over which has 
been either relinquished or ceded by the present treaty. 


The Government of each country will, for the term of ten years, 
accord to the merchant vessels of the other country the same treat- 
ment in respect of all port charges, including entrance and clearance 
dues, light dues, and tonnage duties, as it accords to its own mer- 
chant vessels, not engaged in the coastwise trade. 

This article may at any time be terminated on six months' notice 
given by either Government to the other. 


It is understood that any obligations assumed in this treaty by 
the United States with respect to Cuba are limited to the time of its 


occupancy thereof; but it will upon the termination of such occu- 
pancy, advise any Government established in the island to assume 
the same obligations. 


The present treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United 
States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, 
and by her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain; and the ratifications 
shall be exchanged at Washington within six months from the date 
hereof, or earlier if possible. 

In faith whereof, we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed 
this treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals. 

Done in duplicate at Paris, the tenth day of December, in the year 
of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight. 










[The attempt on the part of a French company to build a Panama canal was 
begun in 1879 under a concession from the Republic of Colombia, through whose 
territory the canal was to pass. When the enterprise was taken over by the United 
States in 1903, the trea